1 Monday, 19th March 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Will the registrar call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning Your Honours, case number IT-95-8-T,
7 Prosecutor versus case Dusko Sikirica, Dusko Sikirica, and Dragan
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: May we have the appearances.
10 MR. RYNEVELD: Good morning, Your Honours. Dirk Ryneveld for the
11 Prosecution along with my co-counsel, Ms. Julia Baly and Mr. Daryl Mundis.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. For the Defence.
13 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My
14 name is Veselin Londrovic. I represent Mr. Sikirica along with my learned
15 friend Michael Greaves. We also have Ms. Rastislava Petrovic the
16 interpreter. I am the defence counsellor who does not speak English, and
17 she will facilitate our communication.
18 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I am
19 Vladimir Petrovic, an attorney from Belgrade, along with Goran Rodic, an
20 attorney from Podgorica. We represent Mr. Damir Dosen, thank you.
21 MR. VUCICEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours, Dusan Vucicevic for
22 Mr. Dragan Kolundzija.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much. This is the beginning of
24 this case, the first day. We start with opening statements. Before we
25 begin, may I just inquire, Mr. Ryneveld, how long will your opening
1 statement be?
2 MR. RYNEVELD: I anticipate, Your Honour, that it will be slightly
3 over an hour and a half, about an hour and 35 minutes is my estimate.
4 There will be some very short video clips, and I'm conscious of the fact
5 that I'm going to have to speak slowly so that the interpreters can follow
6 along so I anticipate about an hour and 35 minutes.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much. It will be convenient then
8 to take the break at 11.30, 11.35.
9 MR. RYNEVELD: Fine, thank you.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I just inquire whether any of the Defence
11 counsel will be exercising the right to make an opening statement at this
13 MR. VUCICEVIC: Yes, Your Honour. The Defence for Kolundzija
14 would like to make a partial opening statement wherein we would dispute
15 the elements of the Prosecutor's case. And, if possible, then at the
16 beginning of the Defence case in chief, if necessary, we would, you know,
17 describe our part of the case. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not sure I understand the concept of a
19 partial opening statement. The Rules provide for you the right to make an
20 opening statement now. I believe you must decide whether you wish to make
21 an opening statement now or at the beginning of your statement.
22 MR. VUCICEVIC: Yes, Your Honour, I do wish to make an opening
23 statement now.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: How long will your statement be?
25 MR. VUCICEVIC: 45 minutes.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
2 Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour. Before I begin, I ask the
4 Court's permission to have our case manager Rebecca Graham to assist us at
5 the ELMO to place some maps, et cetera, to assist in the presentation of
6 our opening.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Certainly.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
9 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
10 MR. RYNEVELD: Your Honours, it is now my privilege to present the
11 opening statement of the Prosecutor's case against Sikirica, Dosen and
12 Kolundzija by outlining the evidence that the Prosecution intends to
13 adduce. I do not intend to simply restate the contents of our pre-trial
14 brief. I intend instead during the next hour and a half or so to outline
15 the framework of our case and to highlight some of the material evidence
16 that the Prosecution's witnesses will give.
17 At the end of the trial, we submit that this evidence will leave
18 no reasonable doubt in your mind as to the guilt of the three accused,
19 Sikirica, Dosen, and Kolundzija.
20 Your Honours, this is a case about ethnic cleansing, persecution,
21 and genocide, committed in the opstina Prijedor in northwest
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in particular the creation of detention camps for
23 the civilian non-Serb inhabitants in the area, the discovery of which in
24 the summer of 1992 shocked the world.
25 Serb Bosnian leaders repeatedly denied that concentration-style
1 detention camps were in operation in any of the areas controlled by their
2 forces. You will now see a very brief video clip of Mr. Karadzic in early
3 August, 1992, denying that there were any detention camps for civilians in
6 [Videotape played]
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Those denials were shown to be false when video
9 images of the gaunt and malnourished detainees at some of these detention
10 camps were first broadcast on television in the summer of 1992, alerting
11 the world that atrocities were being committed against civilians in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. What will become readily apparent from the evidence
13 that the Prosecution intends to adduce is that the individuals who were
14 imprisoned in camps such as Keraterm, Omarska, and Trnopolje were there as
15 a result of a policy of wholesale persecution and ethnic cleansing of the
16 Bosnian Muslims and Croats perpetrated at the hands of the Bosnian Serbs.
17 This trial will focus on events that happened in the opstina
18 Prijedor largely between April and August, 1992 when the purveyors of
19 Serbian nationalistic fanaticism unleashed an orchestrated rampage of
20 persecution and terror throughout the non-Serb dominated parts of opstina
21 Prijedor. A similar campaign was waged simultaneously in other parts of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the common purpose of the Bosnian Serb
23 leadership in order to create an ethnically pure greater Serbia.
24 Now, those who masterminded the enterprise to create such an
25 ethnically pure state accomplished their objective in various ways. Some
1 of these methods included destruction of villages, killing of the
2 inhabitants, and forced deportation or detention of their survivors. In
3 the context of an armed conflict which broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina in
4 April, 1992, there began a widespread and systematic assault on the
5 non-Serb civilian population. Bosnian Serb forces started military action
6 and their soldiers and police started arresting non-Serb inhabitants. The
7 town of Prijedor and the surrounding predominantly Muslim villages became
8 a battleground.
9 The non-Serb inhabitants of the town of Prijedor and the
10 neighbouring villages were rounded up and their homes and religious
11 centres were specifically targeted for destruction. As the witnesses will
12 tell you during the course of this trial, their mosques were desecrated
13 and destroyed, and their homes and businesses were looted, burned, and
14 destroyed. To give you an idea of the kind of destruction the witnesses
15 will relate to you in their evidence, we propose to show you a brief
16 glimpse of the destruction. We propose to show you now a short video clip
17 of the village of Kozarac that portrays the type of damage sustained in
18 these villages. You will note that occasionally you will see a building
19 that appears to have escaped the path of destruction. The evidence you
20 will hear is that Serb homes, businesses or churches were not targeted for
21 destruction, but only those belonging to non-Serbs. In these communities,
22 the population was predominantly Muslim.
24 [Videotape played]
1 MR. RYNEVELD: Coming up in the video now you will see the remains
2 of a mosque.
4 [Videotape played]
6 MR. RYNEVELD: A primary component of the campaign by the Bosnian
7 Serbs to create a purely Serbian state was to kill a part of the Bosnian
8 Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilian population and to drive the rest of the
9 population out of the area. They targeted non-Serb political and civic
10 leaders, intellectuals, and the wealthy. They also targeted those
11 individuals that they claimed were extremists, such as military-aged men
12 because they were capable of resisting the Serbs. The killing part of the
13 campaign was accomplished either through direct military attack or through
14 detaining members of these groups and subjecting them to conditions
15 calculated to bring about their physical destruction.
16 By killing many of the inhabitants outright, and detaining others
17 in camps where many were beaten to death, starved, tortured or murdered,
18 the Bosnian Serbs accomplished part of their objective. The remaining
19 inhabitants were terrorized into leaving their homes and fleeing the
20 area. They were driven out of their homes often carrying the sick, the
21 elderly and the very young. They had little or no time or means to
22 collect their personal possessions before fleeing the attack of their
23 Serbian neighbours. They were too terrified to stay yet had nowhere to
24 run. They ran in the direction of the next non-Serb village or the
25 mountains, simply to attempt to survive another day.
2 Behind them, the advancing Serb armed forces left a trail of
3 destruction in their wake; burning, looting and destroying the civilian
4 inhabitants' homes and property. In this manner, the Bosnian Serb
5 authorities displayed their genocidal intent in accomplishing their
6 objective of creating an ethnically pure Serbian state.
7 The ethnic cleansing of the Prijedor area did not occur by
8 happenstance. On the contrary, it was a carefully planned and executed
9 operation. In the early 1990s nationalistic political parties, the Muslim
10 dominated SDA, and the Serb dominated SDS, openly pursued political power
11 in Prijedor. Although the Muslim SDA won a majority of seats in the 1990
12 civic elections, Serb officials successfully resisted a reallocation of
13 key civic positions in accordance with election results. The SDS also
14 wanted to establish exclusive Serb control over large segments of
15 territory in western, northern, and eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina despite the
16 fact that many of these regions had large non-Serb populations residing
17 within them.
18 In the Prijedor area, the SDS began serious plans to create a
19 separate Serbian territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina when it became clear to
20 them that they could not keep Bosnia in the Yugoslav Federation. Tensions
21 between Serbs and nonSerbs in the area mounted as did the steady build-up
22 of Serb troops in the area.
23 In March of 1992, Serb extremists seized the television tower on
24 Kozara mountain following which the residents of the area could receive
25 only broadcasts containing Serb propaganda and warning to Serbs that the
1 non-Serb extremists were planning to destroy Serbs.
2 On the 30th of April, 1992, Serb forces seized power in opstina
3 Prijedor and encountered to meaningful resistance in the process.
4 Non-Serb police surrendered their firearms to their Serb colleagues often
5 at gun point. The following morning, Serb flags flew from all official
6 government buildings and radio Prijedor broadcast that the Serbs had taken
7 over the opstina.
8 Over the next three weeks all civilians were ordered to surrender
9 their firearms to the authorities. In reality, this order applied only to
10 nonSerbs and, as you will hear from the witnesses, Serb civilians received
11 weapons from the local authorities and the Serb-dominated JNA. Travel and
12 communications for nonSerbs was restricted. Many nonSerbs were fired from
13 their jobs and lost their medical coverage solely because of their
15 The following document, referred to in these proceedings as
16 Exhibit 2.12A, which is authored by the president of the Serbian Republic
17 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Crisis Staff at Banja Luka, Radoslav Brdjanin,
18 on the 22nd of June 1992 shows that this decision was made at the highest
19 levels and was to be carried out by the Crisis Staffs of all the
20 municipalities of the autonomous region of the Krajina.
21 On the ELMO that document is now displayed, and it reads, and I am
22 looking at the highlighted passages in the orange, "All leading positions,
23 positions involving the access to information, protection of public
24 property, and other positions of importance for the functioning of the
25 economy can be occupied exclusively by personnel of Serbian nationality.
1 This applies to all socially-owned enterprises, joint stock companies,
2 state institutions, public enterprises, the Ministry of the Interior and
3 the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition,
4 such positions cannot be occupied by workers who have not confirmed their
5 Serbian nationality in the plebescite or to whom it is not yet clear that
6 the only representative of the Serbian people is the Serbian Democratic
7 Party. The deadline to carry out the task stated in Article 1 of this
8 decision is 1500 hours of Friday the 26th of June 1992, and the president
9 of the municipal Crisis Staffs will submit the reports to this Crisis
11 Well, Your Honours, if there was any question about whether the
12 ARK Crisis Staff was serious about implementing this policy throughout the
13 20 or so municipalities comprising the autonomous region of the Krajina,
14 the question was answered in the next statement: "Failure to carry out
15 this decision shall result in automatic suspension of the responsible
17 Thereafter, as will become obvious from the filed exhibits, the
18 Crisis Staff gave a number of directions and orders which further
19 marginalised the non-Serb population preventing them from taking part in
20 public and economic organisations, by controlling internal population
21 immigration, and by developing a plan designed to result in the so-called
22 voluntary relocation of the non-Serb civilian population. In so doing,
23 they drew their blueprint for the commission of genocide in part against
24 the non-Serb civilian population of the opstina including political and
25 civic leaders, intellectuals, the wealthy, and those who resisted the
1 Serbs, such as military-aged males.
2 Although the foregoing conduct was the beginning of the
3 persecution of the non-Serb population of the opstina, for the inhabitants
4 of the Prijedor area, the real nightmare began on approximately the 22nd
5 of May 1992, when large-scale Serb military attacks began. During these
6 military attacks by soldiers and police as well as paramilitary units
7 equipped by the SDS, artillery shelling took place against non-Serb
9 The towns and villages that you will be hearing about during the
10 course of the evidence in this trial such as Prijedor, Donja Puharska,
11 Cejreci, Kozarac, Sivci and the villages Brdo such as Biscani, Rakovcani
12 and Hambarine were irregularly but systematically attacked and destroyed,
13 much like the Kozarac footage you saw moments ago.
14 Although in some areas, the nonSerbs organised in an attempt to
15 repel the armed attacks, by the middle of July 1992 all of these villages
16 had eventually been overwhelmed by better equipped and armed Serb forces
17 and in the process, countless non-Serb civilians were killed.
18 During these attacks, men, women and children fled to neighbouring
19 villages or the nearby forests and mountains where the majority were
20 inevitably either shot, captured or surrendered to the Serb forces. Their
21 homes and mosques were looted, burned or otherwise destroyed and their
22 livestock were slaughtered. This was done so that they would have nothing
23 to return to, to reason to come home.
24 Upon capture, the men were separated from the women and children.
25 Many were killed on the spot. Others were beaten mercilessly and then
1 transported like cattle to detention camps in the region such as Keraterm,
2 Omarska and Trnopolje where they suffered horribly and were subjected to
3 unspeakable indignity by their Serb captors.
4 Most of these witnesses will tell you about what happened to them
5 personally. You will hear how they were attacked, rounded up, beaten,
6 detained, abused, and starved. You will also hear from them what happened
7 to those who are no longer alive to tell you their story themselves. You
8 will hear how the three accused before you today were among the faces of
9 their captors that made life a living hell during their time spent in
11 You will hear evidence from the witnesses themselves who will tell
12 you the details of how Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats civilians were
13 summarily executed, beaten, sexually assaulted, and detained in a
14 widespread, systematic and protracted matter. You will also hear how many
15 of them were transferred to camps such as Omarska and Trnopolje where they
16 were subjected to similar treatment or worse with the complicity of the
17 accused, Sikirica.
18 Your Honours, so thorough was the campaign of persecution and so
19 massive was the consequence of this terror campaign, that you will hear
20 that the Bosnian Serb authorities set up an interlocking system of
21 approximately 39 detention camps euphemistically referred to by the
22 Bosnian Serbs as collections or investigation centres.
23 The evidence that will be presented to you in this case will focus
24 on three of such camps: Keraterm, Omarska and Trnopolje, because
25 detainees from Keraterm were routinely transferred from there to the other
2 The accused, Sikirica, who was charged with genocide and
3 complicity to commit genocide as well as persecution in this case was the
4 commander of the Keraterm camp.
5 He maintained a list of the Keraterm detainees who were in his
6 camp and which ones were to be transferred to Omarska. Many of those sent
7 to Omarska camp in particular are known to have been killed and many were
8 never heard from or seen again.
9 In light of the interrelationship between the camps, it is
10 submitted that Sikirica knew the likely fate of those he ordered
11 transferred to other camps. You will hear evidence of how new arrivals at
12 Omarska from Keraterm were singled for special treatment, including
13 horrific beatings on their arrival at Omarska. As such, not only is he
14 responsible for the genocidal acts committed by himself personally and by
15 those under his command at the Keraterm camp itself, but also, with his
16 knowledge and complicity, similar genocidal acts that occurred at the
17 Omarska and Trnopolje camps.
18 The acts committed at these camps, along with the prevalent
19 conditions at these camps, played an essential role in accomplishing the
20 execution of the Bosnian Serb expulsion campaign in opstina Prijedor. The
21 operation of these camps in general and Keraterm in particular served a
22 relevant function to the detention, killing, torturing, intimidating and
23 terrorising of Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croats in Prijedor. As
24 commander of Keraterm camp, the accused Sikirica controlled an integral
25 component of the wider persecution and expulsion campaign in opstina
1 Prijedor in furtherance of enacting the common purpose.
2 Camps such as Keraterm, Omarska and Trnopolje were staffed by Serb
3 forces, including reserve police officers of the Prijedor Public Security
4 Station along with other individuals often rotating between the camps.
5 Some of these individuals may have been camp personnel but others such as
6 Zoran Zigic and Duca Knezevic were granted access to the camps in order to
7 persecute and murder the detainees. As camp commander, the accused
8 Sikirica was responsible for the atrocities, beatings, murders and other
9 war crimes perpetrated by these individuals.
10 I'd like to turn next, if I may, to camp conditions. In a word,
11 conditions at all three camps in abominable. It will become very clear
12 from the evidence of the witnesses just how brutal conditions were. The
13 Keraterm camp was located in a warehouse and grounds of a ceramics factory
14 on the outskirts of the town of Prijedor itself. The following brief
15 video clip shows the warehouse area that served as the detention site for
16 many of the non-Serb male military-aged civilians from the Prijedor area.
18 [Videotape played]
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Coming into view now is the area of the Rooms 1, 2,
21 3 and 4 that you will hear about . This is the warehouse complex of the
22 ceramics factory. Zooming into the foreground now you will see the weigh
23 hut which served as the command centre for commander of the camp,
24 Sikirica. And there you see a side view of the indentation. The rooms to
25 the left of the indentation were Rooms 1 and 2, and to the right were
1 Rooms 3, 4. These are the metal doors to Room 3. You will hear more
2 about Room 3 and what is known as the Room 3 massacre. Shown now are some
3 bullet holes above the door which is where certain stray bullets appear to
4 have gone during the time of the massacre.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Ryneveld, we are going to have plans, are we, of
6 the camp so we can follow this?
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honour. During the course of the
8 evidence we intend to introduce documents which will assist the court.
9 These are simply some documents that I'm using for the course of my
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I understand that. And does this have an
12 exhibit number? It may be helpful to hear.
13 MR. RYNEVELD: The photographs?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the video.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: We don't have an exhibit number for the video at
16 the moment, but during the course of the trial, it is anticipated that
17 many of the documents that I'm using in the opening, which is not
18 evidence, will, with the court's permission, become evidence, and will be
19 assigned a number, an exhibit number, by the court if it's admitted.
20 Keraterm camp, Your Honours, was operated as a camp for detainees
21 from the 23rd of May, 1992 until it closed on approximately the 5th of
22 August, 1992. In the nearly two and a half months of its operation, it
23 held about 1500 detainees, almost exclusively non-Serb males of military
24 age. All of the guards were Serbs, and most if not all were officially
25 employed as reserve police officers attached to the nearby Prijedor 2
1 police station.
2 Keraterm camp was operated in a manner that resulted in the
3 physical debilitation or death of the non-Serb detainees. Detainees were
4 often transferred to Keraterm from other camps and were subjected to
5 brutal interrogations. After they were processed, as their Serb captors
6 called it, many were sent off to camps like Omarska, where they did not
7 survive their subsequent treatment, including torture, beatings,
8 starvation, as well as outright murder.
9 For those who remained at Keraterm after interrogation, life was
10 not much better. Torture, beatings, starvation, murder and massacre were
11 part of the game plan for Keraterm detainees as well. When Keraterm was
12 forced to close down in early August, 1992, many of the remaining Keraterm
13 detainees were transferred to Trnopolje.
14 When television crews attend reluctant access to Trnopolje, they
15 captured the condition of the detainees on video. By the time an
16 international commission composed of a team of journalists were permitted
17 to attend the camps, the Bosnian Serb authorities had already issued
18 instructions on the 3rd of August to the various camps to "take all
19 necessary measures to bring the camps into acceptable, satisfactory
20 condition within two days."
21 I'm going to invite you now to look at the ELMO where what has
22 been marked as Exhibit 8.4.3 will be shown. You will note that General
23 Major Talic, who authored this military secret order, inter alia stated --
24 now the orange highlighted paragraph starting with the words:
25 "Concerning this visit, take all necessary measures so to bring
1 the camps into acceptable, satisfactory condition. That means order,
2 cleanliness, functioning of the medical care for the prisoners, tidy
3 evidence books concerning the reception of prisoners, their release, the
4 register of those who died and the medical findings of the causes of
6 Despite this advance warning, what the journalists captured on
7 film, once steps had been taken to make the camps appear presentable,
8 shocked the international community into action. Pictures speak volumes.
9 So rather than attempt to describe the effect of the conditions on the
10 detainees in words alone, I invite you to see the condition of the
11 detainees for yourselves by viewing a portion of the video shot at
12 Trnopolje in early August, 1992. Many of the detainees you see were
13 previously detained in Keraterm.
15 [Videotape played]
17 MR. RYNEVELD: Some witnesses that you will hear, such as Jusuf
18 Arifagic and Hajrudin Zubovic will tell you that they were transferred to
19 Trnopolje when Keraterm was closed down and that they were in that camp
20 when the video was made. Both will tell you that they appeared on the
21 video and be able to identify some of the other detainees depicted in the
22 video, some of whom did not survive to testify at this trial. When
23 viewing this video, you will likely wonder what kind of conditions would
24 result in people looking like this. By way of an answer, let me describe
25 for you what I anticipate the witnesses will tell you was the typical
1 treatment of prisoners who arrived at Keraterm.
2 At the outset, you will hear that upon arrival, usually by bus,
3 the detainees would be thoroughly and vigorously searched and beaten,
4 sometimes while still on the bus or else on the camp grounds in the
5 vicinity of the weigh hut which served as the command headquarters for the
7 This is a photograph of the weigh hut that served as the
8 headquarters for the camp commanders and you can see the facility in the
9 background. When I talk about the facility, it's the Rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4
10 area which is the left-hand side of the warehouse. Anything of value,
11 money, jewellery, papers and other valuables would be stolen from them.
12 During that process, they may again be beaten with rifle butts or other
13 objects before being forced into one of the four storage rooms referred to
14 by number, which you will be hearing about continually from the witnesses
15 throughout the course of this trial.
16 There they were locked behind metal doors in hopelessly
17 overcrowded conditions. Often these rooms were so crowded that the
18 detainees could not find space to lie down, or even to move, never mind
19 find a bed or a mattress to sleep on.
20 To give you an example of what I mean when I say overcrowded, the
21 rooms, which differed in size, were used to house from about 200 up to
22 about 450 prisoners each. In fact, in Room 2 which measured about 20
23 square metres, at one point the number mushroomed to 570 people when they
24 emptied Room 3 prior to the massacre, which you will be hearing about
25 later in the case. They emptied Room 3 and crammed those prisoners into
1 Room 2 in order to make way for new arrivals from the Brdo area. I will
2 return to the reason for doing that a little later on in my opening when I
3 discuss the Room 3 massacre.
4 The prisoners in general had to subsist on starvation rations.
5 There was never enough food. What little food they received was provided
6 erratically, contained little or no nourishment and was almost always
7 exhausted before all the prisoners were fed. If they were near the end of
8 the feeding schedule, there would be none left. Getting to the food or
9 quickly downing it was also an ordeal. According to one witness,
10 prisoners had to run a gauntlet of beatings with sticks and rifle butts
11 wielded by guards and camp visitors just to get to the food.
12 Then they were forced to eat within a minute or two when they were
13 subjected to further beatings and had the unfinished portion of the food
14 dumped on the ground - not that there was much to eat in the first place.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryneveld, I wonder if you could help me. I'm
16 not very familiar with square metres. Twenty square metres, in relation
17 to this courtroom, could you give us an idea?
18 MR. RYNEVELD: I'm afraid I'm perhaps not the one to convert
19 metres in terms of size, having been raised in the square yards or feet
20 myself, but I would -- my best guess would be about half the width of this
21 courtroom from about counsel's desk to the wall would be approximately 20
22 square metres. I see Mr. Vucicevic raised his hand.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's not make an issue of it. We will get to it
24 during the evidence no doubt.
25 MR. VUCICEVIC: Judge, I think I would be in a position to help
1 you out because I grew up in one system and then went to another. 20
2 square metres would be about 22 square yards. So if he says -- if he says
3 20 square metres, that would be about one yard in length, and 22 yards --
4 I mean one yard in width, and 22 yards in length. That's a rather small
5 space. I think you know the space that he's referring to is much bigger.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Okay. Thank you very much. Please
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
9 You will hear that on a good day, each prisoner would receive only
10 one meal consisting of two very thin slices of fly-covered bread, since it
11 had been kept near the toilets prior to being served, and a small bowl of
12 water which occasionally had a piece of cabbage or macaroni in it. Some
13 rooms, such as Room 1, whose inmates were better known to some of the
14 guards, were fed more regularly than the other rooms.
15 At the beginning you will hear that because Keraterm is literally
16 located on the outskirts of the town of Prijedor, family members were able
17 to attend at the camp gate to bring food. Initially certain prisoners
18 were permitted to receive food from family members but after a week or so,
19 that, too, was no longer permitted.
20 Needless to say, during their detention over a period of two to
21 three months all the prisoners lost weight, some as much as 35 kilograms.
22 Their evidence is to the lack of food and its consequences on them is
23 borne out in the brief video clip which you just saw.
24 But food, or the lack of it, wasn't the only problem. Their
25 detention was mainly during the hot summer months. They were packed like
1 tin sardines in unbearably hot rooms without adequate water. They had no
2 change of clothing, wearing only the clothes on their backs at the time of
3 their capture, no washing facilities, no bedding, and with very rare
4 exception, no medical care. In addition, hygiene was nonexistent. There
5 were very few toilets, and the prisoners were rarely permitted to use
6 them, running the risks of beatings when they did. When they did visit
7 the toilet they had to wade through backed up overflowing sewage and
8 filth. The stench of excrement and urine produced an overpowering
9 amonia-like odour which made it difficult for the inmates nearest the
10 toilets to even breathe. At night the prisoners were not allowed out of
11 their rooms to go to the toilet but were forced to use barrels inside the
13 As if the living conditions were not bad enough, you will hear
14 from many of the witnesses that the prisoners were routinely subjected to
15 interrogations which were regularly accompanied by beatings and torture.
16 During their detention, the detainees were subjected to severe beatings
17 and torture. During their detention, the detainees were subjected to
18 severe beatings, torture, sexual assault and killings, in addition to
19 other forms of physical and psychological abuse.
20 Not only were they subjected to this inhumane treatment by camp
21 guards but also by visitors to the camp, also by visitors to the camp such
22 as Zoran Zigic and Dusko Knezevic, who came to the Keraterm camp for their
23 own perverted and sick enjoyment of beating, torturing and killing the
24 detainees. This all occurred with the knowledge and the tacit approval of
25 the camp commanders and shift commanders charged with the responsibility
1 of the security of the camp who were often present during the incidents.
2 You will hear the witnesses tell you about the specific incidents
3 they either endured themselves or witnessed being perpetrated upon their
4 fellow detainees. The evidence will also disclose that after the Keraterm
5 detainees were interrogated, they would be sorted into groups. Some,
6 branded as extremists after the interrogation, would be called out by
7 Sikirica and others, and shipped out by bus to Omarska. You will have
8 made available to you documents entered as exhibits in these proceedings
9 that will confirm the fact that over 6.000 such informative interviews
10 took place at the Keraterm, Omarska and Trnopolje camps.
11 I'd like next to address the Omarska camp. Although none of these
12 three accused were officially attached to the Omarska camp, it is
13 important to understand that in relation to the overall campaign of terror
14 and persecution, and in particular with respect to the counts of genocide,
15 and complicity in genocide with which Sikirica stands charged, Omarska
16 camp played a significant role.
17 I'm going to ask the Omarska photographs be put on the ELMO. Here
18 in the photograph, on the ELMO, you can see the large industrial building,
19 known as the hangar, in which many of the prisoners were detained. The
20 concrete area in the foreground is the pista where the prisoners were
21 forced to be during the day. To the right of the photo is the infamous
22 "white house" where the extremists, many of them from Keraterm were
23 detained, tortured and killed. Omarska was established by the Serb Crisis
24 Staff on the 31st of May 1992 in the administrative centre of the Omarska
25 iron ore mine located to the south-east of the Kozarac area not far from
2 You can see now on the ELMO a map in blue showing the main
3 Prijedor and there is the town with Keraterm located right on the edge of
4 it. Then almost in the straight line, you will see Trnopolje, down to
5 Omarska. From its inception, Omarska housed many of the local Muslim and
6 Croat elite including political, administrative, and religious leaders,
7 academics and intellectuals, business leaders, and others who led and
8 influenced the non-Serb population.
9 You will hear from the witnesses in the trial that many of the
10 Keraterm detainees were determined, after they were interrogated, to be
11 extremists and were transported to Omarska where they were subjected to
12 similar overcrowding, starvation and hygiene conditions as was as
13 Keraterm. They also suffered serious beatings, torture, sexual assaults
14 and murders. General abuse was a daily occurrence. Battered corpses, the
15 result of nightly beatings and murder, were visible virtually every
16 morning before they were hauled away by truck.
17 Many of the witnesses you will hear from in this case, either by
18 way of viva voce evidence or by transcript, have given evidence in the
19 concurrent proceeding against five other accused who are presently
20 standing trial before a different Trial Chamber concerning their conduct
21 at Omarska camp. Zoran Zigic, one of the accused standing trial in that
22 case, was a common denominator to both camps in both cases in that he
23 persecuted, beat and murdered inmates at both camps, travelling to each
24 and causing terror and mayhem at each camp at next.
25 I turn next, if I may, to Trnopolje. The Trnopolje camp consisted
1 of a former school building, municipal centre, culture hall, and theatre
2 located several kilometres from the town of Kozarac. It housed thousands
3 of detainees, the majority of which were older men, women and children.
4 There you see on the ELMO the Trnopolje complex.
5 Although it is generally accepted that conditions at Trnopolje
6 were not as bad as at either Omarska or Keraterm, conditions for the
7 detainees at Trnopolje were nevertheless horrible. Insufficient food,
8 almost no water, and filthy hygienic conditions prevailed. Dysentery was
9 rampant. Due to overcrowding, many of the detainees had to live outside.
10 Not only did beatings and killings occur at Trnopolje, but women and girls
11 were frequently raped.
12 At one stage, after Keraterm had closed on the 5th of August and
13 many of the inmates had been transferred to Trnopolje, bus loads of men
14 were taken to a remote location near the area known as Vlasic Mountain and
15 systematically massacred.
16 Trnopolje fit into the genocidal expulsion plan as a centre from
17 which the surviving non-Serb population of Prijedor could be expelled to
18 other parts of Bosnia or other countries. You will hear that the last
19 1500 internees were expelled from Trnopolje in November or December of
21 Now, each of these camps played its own integral role in the
22 ultimate objective of cleansing the area of nonSerbs. Some, as I said,
23 were killed outright, some were beaten, and starved to death, and the rest
24 were rendered destitute, homeless, and were terrorised into leaving the
25 area, their Serb captors ensuring that there was nothing for them to
1 return to. They were herded like cattle into trucks and buses and
2 deported from the area and were often forced to sign documents that they
3 are voluntarily surrendering their ownership rights to property that they
4 left behind.
5 It is the Prosecution's submission that as commander of Keraterm
6 camp, Dusko Sikirica knew of the existence of the other camps and their
7 purpose and participated in the systematic destruction of part of a group,
8 the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat civilian population by sending
9 Keraterm detainees to camps like Omarska and Trnopolje with the intention
10 that they would be subjected to conditions of life calculated to bring
11 about their physical destruction. In so doing, he participated in
12 genocidal acts and was complicit in carrying out the common purpose of the
13 Bosnian Serb genocidal plan for the nonSerbs in the Prijedor area.
14 So effective was this plan, and so thorough was the cleansing
15 process that by August of 1992, when the foreign journalist visited the
16 former Muslim town of Kozarac, not a single Muslim family remained. The
17 American television news programme Nightline sent a camera crew to Kozarac
18 after the destruction and ethnic cleansing of that village and this is a
19 brief excerpt of the report they filed.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. RYNEVELD: If there remains any question as to the intent of
22 the Serbs to cleanse the area of nonSerbs, it is significant to note that
23 they even renamed Kozarac from its former Muslim name to a new Serbian
24 name, Radmilovici, after the Serb who led the attack on Kozarac. Other
25 examples of how the Serbs tried to cleanse north-west Bosnia of any Muslim
1 influence can be seen in their renaming of Bosanska Krupa, as
2 Krupa-na-Uni, Bosanska Gradiska as simply Gradiska, and Skender Vakuf as
4 Before April 1992, the population of Prijedor was almost evenly
5 divided between Muslims and Serbs, with a slight majority of Muslims.
6 According to the 1991 census, before the war, the opstina Prijedor had a
7 total population of 112.470 people of whom 44.000 were Muslims, 42.5 per
8 cent Serbs, 5.6 per cent Croats, 5.7 per cent classified as Yugoslavs and
9 the remaining 2.2 were a mixture of Ukranians, Russians and Italians.
10 You will see on the ELMO, a map of Prijedor which is in the
11 middle, and you will also see the multicoloured dots, the green being the
12 Muslim and the purple being the Serb villages. You will see the
13 concentration around Prijedor which is the centre circle and the other
14 little villages.
15 While the opstina -- within the opstina, certain towns or villages
16 would be predominantly Muslim or Serb in its ethnic composition. You will
17 hear or read about demographic evidence to be enter at this trial
18 concerning the ethnic composition of Prijedor's pre-war and post-war
19 populations. By way of a preview, I invite you to look at the graph on
20 the ELMO which compares population figures in Prijedor prior to the armed
21 conflict from the 1991 census with the post war census taken in 1997.
22 From the following graph, you will note that in 1991, Muslims and
23 Serbs were equally represented in the population of Prijedor with each
24 group at about 43 per cent. That would be the crossed hatch marks in red
25 and green. By 1997, however, Serbs were in the majority at 89 per cent,
1 that's the solid red one, where the Muslims are at only 1 per cent, hardly
2 shown on the map, and the Croats at 2 per cent. It cannot escape notice
3 that Muslims in the opstina Prijedor dropped by 42 per cent to only a
4 negligible figure.
5 The Bosnian Serb authorities themselves carried out a population
6 census in 1993, just a year after the attack, presumably to see how
7 successfully their plan had been carried out. On the 5th of August 1993,
8 the chief of the Banja Luka security services centre wrote to officials in
9 Prijedor asking 10 specific questions. Questions 4, 5 and 6 are
10 particularly relevant here because they deal with the number of Serbs,
11 Croats and Muslims then left in the opstina Prijedor.
12 If we can display Exhibit 9.16 on the ELMO, you will see there
13 that there are -- that's the document I referred to dated the 5th of
14 August 1993 and the questions at 4, 5 and 6 are the total number of Serbs,
15 the total number of Croats and the total number of Muslims.
16 If we can go to 9.17, the answer was forthcoming two days later
17 from the chief of the SJB in Prijedor. The answers correlate directly to
18 the 10 questions posed in the previous document; note the figures opposite
19 numbers 4, 5 and 6. You will note that the figures provided by the
20 Prijedor SJB to the Banja Luka CSB on the 7th of August 1993 report, inter
21 alia, that the total number of inhabitants of the municipality is 65.551
22 of which 53.655 were Serbs, 3.169 were Croats and 6.124 were Muslims.
23 It shows in the less than two years since the 1991 census, the
24 percentage of the nonSerbs in Prijedor had dropped from just over 48 per
25 cent to approximately 14 per cent while the percentage of Serbs had risen
1 from 44 per cent to nearly 82 per cent.
2 If there is any remote question about what the object of the
3 exercise was, a document entered in these proceedings as Exhibit 3.48
4 removes all potential lingering doubt. May we have 3.48, please.
5 You will see --
6 JUDGE MAY: You explained earlier that what you say at the moment
7 is not evidence.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Right.
9 JUDGE MAY: And you explained that you didn't have Exhibit numbers
10 for your videos.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: Correct.
12 JUDGE MAY: I take it that numbers have been attributed.
13 MR. RYNEVELD: To those videos, no, they have not.
14 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment. The other matters are exhibits to
15 which numbers have been attributed.
16 MR. RYNEVELD: That's correct, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MAY: They are not of course exhibits yet because they have
18 not been entered.
19 MR. RYNEVELD: That's correct, Your Honour. I have referred to
20 them as exhibits. However, that may be -- they have been filed and
21 numbers have been attributed, and they have been provided to the court and
22 learned counsel with numbers in order to make some sense of them. They do
23 not become exhibits until the court declares them to be exhibits during
24 the course of the trial.
25 JUDGE MAY: But it's convenient at this stage to refer to them at
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Because otherwise, it's totally disorderly but we just
4 ought to understand the position.
5 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honour, and thank you for the
6 clarification. It was for ease of reference rather than by
7 presumptuousness that these documents were exhibits, that I am referring
8 to them as exhibits.
9 Returning, if I may, to the document which has been given a number
10 as 3.48, you can see that in October, 1992, Dusko Jelisic, a Serb official
11 from the National Security Service from the Banja Luka CSB, in an official
12 secret document, reported that in Prijedor, "Both the official authorities
13 and the citizens themselves are relaxing under the impression that with
14 the departure of Muslims and Croats, everything has been accomplished."
15 He had earlier reported in the same document - and I'm going to
16 highlight those areas in orange, "The security situation in the Prijedor
17 municipality started deteriorating in May, 1992, the month that saw the
18 beginning of fighting in Prijedor area."
19 Referring to selected highlighted passages of that report, you
20 will note, "Dozens of villages have been almost completely destroyed and
21 left uninhabited." He then lists the names of many of the towns and
22 villages relevant to this trial. It is interesting to note that every
23 village mentioned in the report is a Muslim village. "This destruction
24 saw the beginning of the mass exodus of both Muslims and Croats.
25 According to estimates roughly 38.000 Muslim and Croat citizens have left
1 the municipality of Prijedor so far." And then skipping again, "As these
2 people left, there began a massive looting of their property which was
3 left entirely unguarded by either the owners or the municipal
5 Skipping further down the page, "This entire period is
6 characterised by the blowing up and destruction of buildings owned by
7 Muslims and Croats as well as of places of worship."
8 Then near the bottom of that page, "The military police in the
9 town are doing almost nothing about this problem which may have negative
10 effects later."
11 And then on the last page at the top comes the clincher. Remember
12 that this document is authored by a Serb national security official in
13 Banja Luka in October of 1992. "As time goes by, one can feel that both
14 the official authorities and the citizens themselves are relaxing under
15 the impression that with the departure of the Muslims and Croats,
16 everything has been accomplished."
17 The intention, in our submission, cannot be expressed much more
18 clearly than that. You will be hearing specific detail from the various
19 background witnesses as to how this ethnic cleansing campaign was carried
20 out. You will also have available to you statistics and demographic
21 reports indicating how former Muslim areas were totally cleansed and the
22 types of people that were most likely to go missing. You will find that
23 in the opstina Prijedor, both the Muslim and Croat military-aged men and
24 the best-educated individuals, the potential leaders, went missing in very
25 high ratios. This evidence will drive you to the irresistible conclusion
1 that there was a particular targeting for the extermination or destruction
2 of a particular group within the Muslim and Croat population of Prijedor,
3 which amounts to a clear genocidal plan.
4 I'd like to turn next, if I may, to the accused. First of all,
5 Dusko Sikirica. Dusko Sikirica was born on 23rd of March, 1964 in opstina
6 Prijedor. During the relevant period of the indictment, then 28 year old
7 Sikirica was the commander of Keraterm camp and was therefore in a
8 position of superior authority to everyone in the camp, including the
9 shift commanders, two of which included his co-accused Damir Dosen and
10 Dragan Kolundzija.
11 As commander of the camp Sikirica had the authority to alter the
12 conditions of confinement that existed in Keraterm. He had the authority
13 to select the shift commanders under his command, and had both the
14 opportunity and the duty to prevent violations of international law from
15 occurring in the camp, and to discipline personnel or visitors who
16 committed those violations.
17 Sikirica personally participated in the campaign of persecution
18 against the non-Serbs in the Prijedor opstina. Witnesses will tell you
19 that he was present at road checks when the non-Serb population were being
20 driven from their homes. Additionally, when Keraterm commenced operation,
21 Sikirica became camp commander, and during the period of its operation
22 until it was closed down in early August, 1992, Sikirica personally
23 committed beatings and killings of a number of prisoners.
24 As camp commander, he had firsthand knowledge of the intolerable
25 camp conditions, the beatings, rapes and murders of detainees that took
1 place at Keraterm. He not only failed to prevent those crimes from
2 happening but participated in many of those acts, and failed to report or
3 punish those individuals who committed them. Furthermore, by operating
4 Keraterm camp, he, in conjunction with other Serb authorities, including
5 the commanders of the other camps, contributed to the efficient execution
6 of the Serb strategy or common purpose to create an ethnically pure
8 In the context of what occurred in opstina Prijedor, that conduct
9 amounted to not only persecution but to genocide or complicity in
11 Dusko Sikirica's involvement in the campaign was concurrent with
12 his activities as commander of Keraterm. Certain witnesses will tell you
13 that Sikirica was involved in the ethnic cleansing of the village of
14 Hambarine and the killing of its Muslim and Croat inhabitants.
15 On the 12th of June, Serb forces attacked the village of
16 Hambarine. Sikirica was identified as one of the individuals who took
17 part in the attack and looting of Muslim houses. The men and the women
18 were separated and their valuables, jewellery and money were confiscated.
19 According to one witness Sikirica was present when these men were taken
20 away. In Mujadzici, a part of Hambarine, some 30 men were collected and
21 28 of them were killed.
22 One of the two survivors was a former workmate of Sikirica at the
23 Celpak factory where they had both worked before the armed conflict broke
24 out. When Sikirica recognised him in a group of five or six men who had
25 been selected to be taken away and killed, he singled him out and told him
1 to run away to wherever he could. The others were not so fortunate. They
2 were never heard from or seen again.
3 Although that incident may show that Sikirica made a decision to
4 save a former workmate from certain death, and is therefore exculpatory in
5 nature, nevertheless the same evidence shows that Sikirica was involved in
6 the process of ethnic cleansing. He chose to save one person that he
7 knew, knowing that the others were selected to be murdered. It shows his
8 knowledge of an impending death plan. It also shows that he was not only
9 the commander of Keraterm but that he was an active participant in the
10 rounding up of civilians in the Hambarine area and the execution of the
11 ethnic cleansing campaign.
12 I'd like to turn now to Sikirica as a camp commander. It is
13 submitted that you will have no difficulty in concluding that Sikirica was
14 the camp commander of Keraterm, starting sometime in early June 1992.
15 Most of the witnesses will tell you that it was a matter of common
16 knowledge. The witnesses will tell you that they could deduce this fact
17 from their observations, from what the guards told them, and also the fact
18 that Sikirica himself told some of the detainees that he was the commander
19 in charge of the camp. You may conclude that he was not the commander
20 when the camp first opened in May, 1992, but that he assumed command after
21 a week or so of its initial operation, and during the time relevant to
22 this indictment. You will hear from the witnesses that conditions at the
23 camp became worse after Sikirica took over.
24 You will hear the witnesses tell you that Sikirica was usually
25 present during the day shift, especially when the detainees first arrived
1 at the camp. He was present for their welcome to the camp, consisting of
2 beatings and robbery of their valuables, and despite the fact that these
3 incidents occurred on a regular basis, he did nothing to stop them and at
4 times encouraged their commission or personally participated in them.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue.
6 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. Sikirica also was the man who
7 controlled the selection of transfer of prisoners from the camp. He
8 prepared and kept a daily list of names at his office in the weigh hut
9 shown in the photographs from where he controlled the activities at
10 Keraterm. And there you see the warehouse again with the hut with the
11 flat roof, the white roof.
12 The witnesses will tell you that he would read out lists of names
13 and decide the fates of who would be beaten, who would be transferred to
14 Omarska, or who would be loaded on to trucks for destinations then unknown
15 to the other prisoners. Sometimes under the guise that they would be
16 taken to work somewhere, prisoners volunteered to get on the trucks. They
17 never returned. Many of their bodies have since been found in graves,
18 about which you will hear later on in the evidence. The autopsy and
19 exhumation reports are available to you and will explain their
21 Not only did Sikirica bear responsibility for the atrocities
22 carried on in Keraterm by virtue of his command responsibility, but also
23 by his -- by virtue of his personal participation in them.
24 His conduct covered the gamut of war crimes. You will hear
25 evidence of his involvement in beatings, persecution, murder and rapes.
1 At least two of the witnesses the Prosecution is calling, Witness K and
2 Witness U, will tell you that they were raped during their brief stay at
3 Keraterm. One of the women will tell you that Sikirica himself was one of
4 the individuals who punched her in the eye and raped her.
5 Various witnesses will relate different incidents of having seen
6 Sikirica personally murdering detainees. Among the incidents you will
7 hear the witnesses tell you about, we expect, will include the following:
8 First of all, Salko Saldumovic will tell you about an incident he
9 witnessed where Sikirica shot a prisoner with his pistol. Another witness
10 will corroborate that incident.
11 Witness K6 will tell of an incident where Sikirica took out his
12 pistol and shot a man up to three times in the back. A few hours later,
13 Witness K6 saw the body of the unfortunate man where it had been dumped
14 near the garbage bins.
15 Witness K43 will tell you that he saw Sikirica beat a detainee who
16 needed medication, and on another occasion he saw Sikirica shoot an
17 injured detainee who was complaining of pain and asking for medical
18 attention. According to the witness, Sikirica took a guard's automatic
19 rifle and fired a few bursts into the suffering man. Again, according to
20 the witness, he then asked the corpse whether that helped the pain. The
21 same witness will tell you that on another occasion he noted that a
22 prisoner was questioned by Sikirica as to why he had a small bag with
23 him. When the prisoner told him he was a diabetic and needed his needles
24 and insulin, Sikirica claimed the man was a "Ustasha medic" and threw the
25 bag away. The detainee died a few days later in great pain, asking for
1 insulin with his dying breath.
2 Various witnesses, including witnesses K35, K3, K30 and K32, will
3 tell you that Sikirica was the one who read out a list of some 120 or more
4 detainees who were loaded on to buses destined for Omarska. The detainees
5 were beaten in Sikirica's presence while boarding the buses. These
6 detainees were never seen again until their bodies were found in a mass
8 Finally, you will hear of Sikirica's role in the Room 3 massacre.
9 Sikirica was present when the prisoners were moved out of Room 3 into the
10 other rooms prior to the incident. The day following the massacre, a
11 large truck or lorry arrived and parked directly in front of Room 3.
12 Sikirica supervised the disposition of the bodies, directing that the dead
13 be piled aboard the truck and about 30 severely wounded be unceremoniously
14 loaded on top of the pile. After the truck left for Omarska, a high
15 pressure hose was brought in to wash down the area.
16 Sikirica was heard to say that no blood was to remain behind. You
17 will also hear that on the morning after the Room 3 massacre, Sikirica was
18 present and personally participated in the execution of some of the
19 remaining survivors of that massacre.
20 Turning next, if I may, to Damir Dosen also known and most often
21 referred to as Kajin. Like Sikirica, Damir Dosen, Kajin, was a Serb born
22 in opstina Prijedor. He was born on the 7th of April, 1967, so that
23 during the period relevant to the indictment, he would have been 25 years
24 old. He was a shift commander under the command of Sikirica. When
25 Sikirica was away from the camp during Dosen's shift, Damir Dosen was in
1 charge of the security of the camp and the welfare of its inmates. Yet
2 during his shift, the witnesses will tell you that many beatings, tortures
3 and even murders took place. Damir Dosen, according to a number of
4 witnesses, took part in many beatings and assaults on inmates at
5 Keraterm. He was present when guards on his shift beat, tortured and
6 murdered prisoners. He not only failed to prevent or report such criminal
7 acts, but often encouraged such acts by participating in them. The
8 witnesses are expected to tell you that Damir Dosen was more commonly
9 referred to, as I said, as Kajin. He was one of the shift commanders
10 along with Kolundzija and Fustar, and all of them, as I said, were under
11 the command of Sikirica.
12 Many of the witnesses will undoubtedly indicate that they did not
13 see Kajin or Dosen personally beat anyone. Some will tell you about
14 incidents where they thought he intervened on behalf of the prisoners or
15 indicated "that's enough" when he witnessed the guards beating the
16 prisoners. Nevertheless, it is very clear from the evidence we expect you
17 will hear that Dosen was involved in the beating of prisoners personally
18 and was present when individuals, including guards that he supervised on
19 his shift, beat prisoners. He had the power to improve conditions but,
20 despite being fully aware of the suffering of the detainees, chose in most
21 cases not to do so. Many will tell you that he often appeared under the
22 influence of alcohol while on duty.
23 We anticipate that a number of the witnesses will relate specific
24 incidents that they personally experienced or saw when Kajin was involved
25 in beatings of prisoners and even killings. Some will attribute beatings
1 committed by the Banovic brothers, themselves indicted along with these
2 three accused but as yet not in custody, to have been committed while they
3 were guards, according to some witnesses, under Dosen's command on his
4 shift. More particularly, I expect you will hear that Kajin was involved
5 in a number of incidents among which are: One, the beating on his arrival
6 at Keraterm of Jovan Radocaj, the sole Serbian detainee held in the camp
7 and the subsequent killing of Radocaj that same night; two, the beating of
8 Adem Jakupovaic and Nihad Krivdic; three, the cutting with a knife of the
9 hand of Ahmet Gutic; four, the beating of (redacted); five, the beating
10 to death of (redacted); six, the beating of (redacted); seven, the
11 beating to death of Drago Tokmadzic.
12 As you might anticipate, not all the witnesses saw or heard the
13 same events. Not all of them were in a position to see the incidents
14 noticed or experienced by others. In fact, some witnesses will tell you
15 that their impression was that Kajin was not the worst shift commander.
16 Others will say Kajin's and Fustar's shift were worse than Kole's shift.
17 It is likely that you will find that he did show some mercy and compassion
18 for some of the prisoners from time to time. The witnesses will tell you
19 of some of the specific examples that they noted. Some will tell you that
20 when they were present, Kajin did nothing to stop the beatings. Others
21 will tell you that on occasion, he did prevent further beatings. On some
22 occasions, he stopped unwelcome visitors such as Duca, Knezevic's
23 nickname, from entering the camp where he and Zoran Zigic used to come at
24 will for their sadistic entertainment.
25 Nevertheless, it's the Prosecution's respectful submission that
1 when Dosen's conducts is viewed as a whole, it will become apparent that
2 he, like Kolundzija, was a shift commander who had a responsibility for
3 the welfare and safety of the prisoners at Keraterm while his shift was on
4 duty. Not only did he personally participate in beatings, but he allowed
5 his men to physically assault, beat, and even murder the inmates.
6 Not only was his conduct that of a participant in those criminal
7 acts, rendering him guilty under Article 7(1) but also as a commander
8 under Article 7(3) of the statute. As a commander, he set a very bad
9 example. He failed to report or punish those under his command, he
10 encouraged them in their commission of criminal offences. As such, at the
11 end of the case, it is our submission that you will have no difficulty
12 whatsoever in finding him guilty of persecution under Article 5 of the
13 statute as well as of outrages upon personal dignity, a violation of the
14 laws or customs of war, under Article 3.
15 Next, Dragan Kolundzija known as Kole. Dragan Kolundzija referred
16 to by most witnesses in this case by his nickname Kole, was born on the
17 19th of December, 1959. At the time relevant to this indictment, he would
18 have been 32 years old. Prior to becoming one of the three shift
19 commanders at Keraterm in his civilian life, Kole had been a truck
20 driver. When Keraterm commenced operation, Kolundzija started his duties
21 as a guard but soon was promoted to shift commander, a position he held
22 until the camp closed its doors in early August.
23 It was during his shift on the fateful night of the 24th of July,
24 1992, that the infamous Room 3 massacre occurred. You will hear witnesses
25 tell that prior to the massacre, Serb forces set up at least two
1 machine-gun nests on the ground of the Keraterm camp facing in the general
2 direction of the metal doors of Room 3 where in excess of 200 prisoners
3 from the Brdo area were being detained. During the night, while the
4 accused Dragan Kolundzija was the shift commander, the Serbs began
5 shooting the machine-guns into Room 3 through the metal doors. The
6 prisoners were tightly packed into the room and when the machine-guns
7 opened up, literally like shooting fish in a barrel, the results were
8 particularly gruesome. The carnage continued off and on for hours. The
9 bodies of many of the victims were literally shot to pieces. Stray
10 bullets also penetrated Rooms 2 and 4 on either side of Room 3, causing
11 occasional casualties in those rooms as well.
12 When the consequences of the massacre were seen the next morning,
13 witnesses saw huge piles of bodies and body parts stacked outside of Room
14 3. Camp officials including Damir Dosen, asked for volunteers from among
15 the detainees from the other rooms to load the bodies into trucks.
16 Although the precise number of victims of the Room 3 massacre is
17 unknown, witnesses who counted the bodies being loaded estimate between
18 147 to 180 being murdered, with another 50 or so seriously wounded. Many
19 of the wounded were subsequently unceremoniously dumped on top of the pile
20 of dead bodies and were hauled away. None of these people were ever seen
21 again alive.
22 But that is still not the end of that obscene event. Later the
23 following day, the 25th of July, the accused Sikirica, claiming that the
24 massacre was a response to an attempt by the Room 3 detainees for trying
25 to escape, ordered the selection of some 25 survivors to be lined up
1 outside the room. They were told to lie on their stomachs on the grass,
2 whereupon Sikirica personally shot and killed at least one of the
3 prisoners, and was present and participated in the cold-blooded execution
4 of the rest of them. The second massacre occurred on the 25th of July,
5 the day after the original Room 3 massacre.
6 Kolundzija's role in the Room 3 massacre.
7 Now, one of the key issues for you to determine in this case, in
8 our submission, at least in relation to the accused Kolundzija, is the
9 extent of his role in this massacre.
10 The fact that this massacre occurred will not present you with any
11 difficulty at all, we respectfully submit. The evidence will prove to be
12 overwhelming. The fact that it happened during Kolundzija's shift will
13 also not prove to be difficult. In fact, I anticipate that the accused
14 will not take issue with that allegation. What will be a matter for you
15 to determine, based on the evidence, is the exact role that Kolundzija
16 played during the course of the massacre itself. The reason I'm
17 highlighting this issue in my opening address is because in the
18 Prosecution's case, you will hear many witnesses giving conflicting or
19 contradictory evidence about the nature of the role that Kolundzija played
20 that night. It is, of course, for you to determine the facts based on
21 that evidence.
22 Some witnesses will tell you that Kolundzija was heard to be
23 yelling at the soldiers to stop shooting. Others heard him say words to
24 the effect not to shoot at Rooms 1 and 2 because those people were
25 innocent. Still others heard him say not to fire at Rooms 1 and 2 because
1 those housed people from Prijedor who had already been interrogated.
2 According to other witnesses, Kolundzija was present when the
3 machine-gun nests were set up outside room 3. Still others attribute to
4 him the order to form a semi-circle at a certain place in front of Room
5 3. Yet another witness heard Kole say, "Do not shoot at the other rooms,
6 it is well known where to shoot."
7 Now, if you accept that evidence, Dragan Kolundzija or Kole bears
8 responsibility as the shift commander present for one of the worst
9 massacres to have occurred during the entire Bosnian conflict. What
10 exactly was said that night by Kolundzija may be difficult to ascertain.
11 That is a matter for this Court to decide, if necessary. What will become
12 fairly clear, however, is the gist of what Kolundzija said. He was
13 telling the people shooting not to shoot at Rooms 1 and 2.
14 You may even conclude from the evidence that he stood in front of
15 those rooms and attempted to order and plead with the people firing the
16 machine-guns to stop shooting. You may, however, also conclude from this
17 same evidence that he was concerned about innocent people in Rooms 1 and 2
18 being shot at but that they were supposed to shoot at Room 3 instead.
19 Yet another witness will indicate that he was told by the accused
20 Dosen after the massacre that all prisoners in Keraterm were supposed to
21 have been killed that evening but thanks to Kole and God, it did not
23 However, these pieces of evidence must be factored in with other
24 anticipated evidence. It must be remembered that the prisoners in room 3
25 had been singled out for particularised treatment since their arrival
1 because they were from the Brdo area. The men from this area were
2 labelled as extremists because they came from an area where armed
3 resistance to the Serbs took place. Therefore, special preparations were
4 made for their arrival at the Keraterm camp.
5 Just prior to their arrival, the existing detainees then housed in
6 Room 3, were all removed and jammed into the other rooms. When the
7 prisoners from the Brdo area which included such villages as Carakovo,
8 Biscani and Hambarine arrived on or about the 20th of July 1992, they were
9 subjected to particularly cruel treatment. On arrival they were forced to
10 kneel in the hot, relentless sun and given no water. They were not given
11 food or water for a number of days, were not allowed to get fresh air, and
12 were locked down in the stifling hot room for days.
13 With the rotation of the three shifts at Keraterm, Kolundzija
14 would have had to have been on duty for a number of those shifts when the
15 prisoners were badly treated. Factored in with the evidence concerning
16 the night of the 24th of July 1992, the night of the Room 3 massacre. You
17 will also hear other evidence concerning the accused Kolundzija or Kole as
18 it relates to conditions during his shift.
19 Although I anticipate that you will hear evidence that things were
20 better during his shift, that there were fewer beatings, that he often
21 prevented visitors from beating the prisoners, make no mistake about it,
22 even during his shift, life for the prisoners was horrible, conditions
23 were terrible. There may have been fewer beatings, but some beatings
24 still occurred. The room 3 massacre aside, there may have been fewer
25 deaths but they were still deaths. The prisoners may have preferred his
1 shift, but when one compares or contrasts two evils, both are still evil
2 only one is less so.
3 Regardless of your findings concerning the exculpatory evidence
4 concerning Kole or Kolundzija that will permeate the Prosecution's case or
5 his role in the room 3 massacre, at the end of the case, you will, in our
6 submission, conclude that in any event, he is at least guilty of
8 If you find that he did improve the conditions for some of the
9 prisoners, he did not do it for all of them. He played favorites. He
10 allowed better treatment for some, but allowed horrible things to happen
11 to others. The fact that he was able to alleviate conditions for some
12 only goes to prove that he had the power to alter conditions for all but
13 that he chose not to. Knowing how bad things were at Keraterm, he
14 accepted promotion from guard to shift commander. On the one hand, it
15 gave him the opportunity to grant privileges to certain prisoners. You
16 will hear the times when he did so. But on the other hand, he was not
17 uniformly magnanimous. All the prisoners suffered, but some got special
18 privileges thanks to Kole. But he could have and should have done more
19 for the remaining prisoners. The fact that he did not do so, also clothes
20 him with liability for persecution.
21 But Your Honours, not all of the witnesses will speak well of
22 Kole. Since beatings of prisoners was a routine event at Keraterm, the
23 shift commanders including Kolundzija were present during those beatings.
24 Some prisoners saw or heard Kole call prisoners out of their rooms. When
25 these men later returned, they did so beaten or bloody. Sometimes after
1 people were beaten, Kolundzija would ask the guards why they had done
2 that. But no one was ever disciplined or removed from the camp as a
4 Although most witnesses say that fewer beatings took place on
5 Kolundzija's shift, the overall conditions in the camp on his shift were
6 as terrible as during the other shifts. Several witnesses recall at least
7 four occasions when Kole was present during beatings. More specifically,
8 witnesses will tell you that Kolundzija was present and participated when
9 prisoners were beaten with iron bar, rifles, bats, planks and batons.
10 One recalls an incident where Kole ordered a prisoner to go
11 outside. Shortly afterwards, two shots were heard. Even more
12 particularly, one witness will tell you that Kolundzija beat him with a
13 stick. He claims that, along with two other prisoners, he was beaten by
14 Kolundzija until he lost consciousness. We expect you will hear from
15 witnesses that Kolundzija was also present when the Banovic brothers and a
16 guard named Grujin would beat the prisoners while they were eating.
17 From this and other evidence, at the end of the case you will have
18 to decide which facts you will accept. On the whole of the evidence,
19 however, we submit that you will be left with no reasonable doubt. You
20 will be satisfied that Dragan Kolundzija is guilty both under Article 7.1
21 and under 7.3 for the conduct of individuals under his command, for the
22 various crimes of persecution under Article 5, as well as outrages upon a
23 personal dignity, a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article
24 3 of the Statute with which he stands charged.
25 I note the time, Your Honours. I have perhaps ten minutes left.
1 Would you wish -- I'm about to start the closing of the camp section. I'm
2 in your hands. I am prepared to proceed or we can take a brief break.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll take the break now. Resume at 12.00.
4 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.34 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.03 p.m.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
8 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 As I indicated before the break, I'd like to turn next, if I may,
10 to the closing of the camp. As I mentioned at the outset, it was not
11 until the media manoeuvred their way into the Prijedor area and took video
12 footage of the camps that the Bosnian Serb authorities were forced to
13 close them down.
14 Well-known newspaper journalists such as Edward Villiamy who later
15 authored the book "Seasons in Hell", based on his observation while
16 covering the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and Penny Marshall
17 with her television crew who attended some of the detention camps in the
18 Prijedor area were indirectly responsible for the closing of Keraterm and
19 eventually Omarska and Trnopolje. You've already seen a very brief clip
20 of the now-famous footage of Trnopolje camp earlier during the opening
21 statement. This footage came about when western journalists, who had been
22 demanding to have access to Prijedor to report on what they had heard to
23 be civilian detention camps, finally received permission to do so from
24 Mr. Karadzic. In preparation for their visit, the authorities decided to
25 close down Keraterm. The majority of the detainees in Keraterm were
1 transferred to Trnopolje where the conditions, although still very bad,
2 were comparably somewhat more presentable.
3 There they were reunited with detainees from Omarska who were also
4 transferred there when that camp was closed. Many of the prisoners
5 visible in that short Trnopolje clip that you saw had recently been
6 transferred there from their earlier confinement in Keraterm or Omarska.
7 It appears as if both the Keraterm camp and the Omarska camp were closed
8 on or between the 5th and the 8th or thereabouts of August 1992. Not all
9 of the Keraterm prisoners were fortunate enough to simply be transferred
10 to another camp. You will hear from witnesses such as K31, AE, K6, K30,
11 and K13, that two bus loads of detainees, many of whom were young
12 military-aged men, were transported to an isolated spot and summarily
14 Sikirica called out these prisoners by name from a list, and he
15 supervised their transport from the camp. One witness, K42, recalls the
16 names of a substantial number of the young men who were called out to be
17 taken away. The fate of the young men unfortunate enough to be selected
18 by Sikirica to board these buses remained unknown until December of 1998
19 where their remains were found piled in a heap in a cave at Hrastova
20 Glavica near the village of Podvidaca.
21 If you look at the ELMO, there is a photograph of the pile of
22 bones at the bottom of the cave. You will read in the expert witness
23 reports that the majority of the remains found at Hrastova Glavica exhibit
24 gunshot wounds suggesting that they had been executed by means of
25 firearms. What's on the ELMO now is a photograph with a bullet in the
1 skull, and near the top of the photograph, you will see what appears to be
2 an entry wound of a bullet hole.
3 In addition, one witness, K12, is expected to tell you that he met
4 up with one of the passengers of those fateful buses. From him, he
5 learned how the prisoners who had been called out were loaded on to the
6 two buses and, after taking a circuitous route, they took in a number of
7 camps, including Omarska, and ended up in a forested area near a cave.
8 There they were met by armed guards who were waiting for their arrival.
9 They were shot four by four and dumped into that cave. Witness K12 was
10 told by the survivor Ibrahim Ferhatovic that he was hit in the hand and
11 fell into the cave where he escaped detection.
12 Ferhatovic told Witness K12 of the names of some of the persons
13 who were on the bus with him who were killed. Both Ibrahim Ferhatovic and
14 many of the people he recalls, were among the people listed by Witness K42
15 as having boarded the buses. Unfortunately, Ibrahim Ferhatovic was later
16 recaptured by the Serbs and did not survive the second arrest to be able
17 to testify at this trial. His account of what happened will have to be
18 recounted for you by Witness K12.
19 You will also hear from witnesses and read in the expert reports
20 of Pasinac, which became the final resting place for many of the
21 unfortunate civilian detainees from Keraterm and other camps. One
22 witness, K41, will tell you that after the war her husband who was
23 murdered in Keraterm was exhumed from a grave in Pasinac and his remains
24 were positively identified.
25 Another witness, K36, will provide additional details as to how
1 the husband of K41 and many other victims of Keraterm camp ended up in
2 unmarked graves in Pasinac either individually, or as in the case of the
3 unfortunate victims depicted in the following photograph, crammed together
4 in death as they had been in life in Keraterm.
5 The photograph doesn't show it very well but - at least not on the
6 ELMO, but there is actually visible remains of three bodies in one single
7 grave, just on top of each other. That was grave PC13.
8 Another example of individuals surviving execution style massacres
9 will be recounted to you by Emsud Garibovic. Like Ferhatovic, although at
10 a different site on a different date, he survived such a massacre. From
11 his transcript evidence given in the Omarska case, you will be able to
12 determine that on 21 August, 1992, he was part of a large convoy of
13 detainees from Trnopolje who were loaded on to buses supposedly destined
14 for Travnik. Many of the young men on those buses were separated from the
15 rest and taken to a remote site on Vlasic Mountain, lined up along the
16 cliff and then machine-gunned and dumped over the edge of the cliff. This
17 execution was committed by reserve police officers from Prijedor.
18 Incidentally the same organisation to which the three accused in this
19 trial belong. Garibovic, along with a few fortunate others, survived in
20 order to be able to tell you what happened to them and their less
21 fortunate fellow detainees.
22 You see, the thing about slaughtering people in batches with
23 machine-gun fire and automatic weapons, although very quick, impersonal
24 and generally effective, there is a problem for the perpetrators in that
25 not everyone is killed outright. Many are severely wounded and die later
1 but yet others survive among the pile of corpses and live to tell you
2 about their experiences.
3 These three representative samples of what occurred in these three
4 camps show that there was an interrelationship between the camps.
5 Prisoners were transported from Keraterm to the others where the
6 conditions were similar. Buses or transportation had to be arranged.
7 Some administrative organisation took place. These things did not happen
8 in splendid isolation. People were interrogated, sorted. Lists were
9 prepared of names. Lists were called out. People were selected for
10 particular treatment. Some were transported to other camps. Some were
11 murdered. Some were beaten. Some were spared. Some received
12 preferential treatment. Some were loaded on buses and taken to be
13 executed en masse. This happened not only at Keraterm but at Omarska and
14 Trnopolje as well. All of this shows, in our submission, that there was a
15 larger common design of which Keraterm was but a part.
16 Each camp played its particular role in fulfilling the overall
17 genocidal conduct that was perpetrated on the targeted non-Serb population
18 of the Prijedor opstina. Your Honours, you will also have available to
19 you the evidence from the experts such as Dr. Richard Wright, the
20 professor of forensic anthropology who prepared the various reports of
21 exhumations of bodies in Pasinac and Prijedor, and of a mass grave site in
22 the village of Kevljani.
23 Dr. John Clark is a forensic pathologist, who reported on the
24 results of post-mortems carried out by him and his staff on bodies from
25 Pasinac, Kevljani and Hrastava Glavica. You will have available the
1 evidence and reports of Dr. Clark, Antony Brown, Judge Abdulmedzid Music,
2 Dr. Eva Klonowski, as well as other forensic pathologists concerning their
4 These are not all the witnesses the Prosecution intends to call.
5 In all, we anticipate that you will hear during the course of the
6 Prosecution's case, from approximately 42 witnesses by way of viva voce
7 evidence. The balance of the total of approximately 54 potential
8 witnesses that we have selected as a representative sample of the
9 available evidence will come in the form of transcript evidence from other
10 proceedings or by way of expert reports, should the court permit it. It
11 may be that Defence counsel will wish to cross-examine some of these
12 witnesses, and they will appear before you in person. The evidence of
13 others will likely be available to you in report form by consent of all
15 Additionally, you will have for your consideration a number of
16 binders of documents which have been filed and entered as exhibits, to my
17 understanding, in these proceedings, to which reference will be made
18 during the course of the trial.
19 Your Honours, it is our respectful submission that at the end of
20 the case, you will be satisfied that the Prosecution has tendered a body
21 of evidence from which you will have no difficulty in determining that
22 each accused is guilty of the charge -- as charged of the counts in the
23 indictment relating to him.
24 Unless Your Honours have any questions, that is the opening
25 statement for the Prosecution.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much, Mr. Ryneveld.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Your Honour.
3 MR. VUCICEVIC: Your Honours, if I could move.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 [Kolundzija Defence Opening Statement]
9 MR. VUCICEVIC: Your Honours, my learned friends on both sides of
10 the courtroom, as difficult as this might be, but it is my duty and also
11 my privilege to present you the plan and the flow of the events which was
12 in Kolundzija's mind but not in the minds of the Serbian extremists that
13 Mr. Ryneveld has presented.
14 First, I will concede it is not disputed that certain criminal
15 acts took place at Keraterm, but it is Kolundzija's case that he didn't
16 participate in them, neither directly, indirectly nor collectively. It is
17 submitted that it is misleading from the Prosecutor to lump Kolundzija on
18 collective liability theory together with the co-accused and that each
19 defendant is entitled to have the case against him looked at separately.
20 As far as direct participation is concerned, it is expected that
21 the evidence from both the Prosecution and Defence will show that
22 Kolundzija gave no order for any detainee to be mistreated. He himself
23 mistreated no detainee. He was not present when any injury was inflicted
24 upon any detainee which he could have prevented.
25 On the contrary, his guards behaved properly to the detainees. He
1 personally behaved well toward detainees and took positive steps to reduce
2 their suffering whenever he could, and he had a reputation in the camp for
3 behaving well toward the detainees, and all detainees knew it. But let me
4 pause here for the moment to introduce my client, Dragan Kolundzija, and
5 the environment where his mens rea was formed. Not mens rea that
6 Prosecutor would like you to believe. He had different mens rea.
7 This is a man who has been praised by many inmates for his
8 humanitarian service at Keraterm. Dragan is 41 years old, married. He
9 has two children, ages 14 and 16. His educational background includes
10 elementary school and vocational technical school. He had no technical
11 training thereafter but was sent by recruiting officer to the national
12 service as a truck driver, and a recruiting officer will testify that he
13 did so since Dragan had no leadership nor fighting abilities.
14 Upon finishing his compulsory service, Dragan assumed a job as a
15 truck driver in the government-owned long haulage company. Before the
16 conflict erupted, Kolundzija in 1989 became a self-employed long distance
17 truck driver. Trucking business was booming since the fellow Muslim
18 drivers from Prijedor were moving Serbian families from Slovenia and
19 Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina, while Kolundzija became busy hauling loads
20 to and from Croatia since he was not like the others. He was not afraid
21 to go. He simply couldn't foresee that there would be any clashes between
22 two constituent people of Yugoslavia. His state of mind was moulded by
23 years of propaganda that Prijedor was the flagship of Yugoslavianism. As
24 example of working class as avant guard of the communist system, they
25 could bring together and heal the ethnic faults from the past, through
1 full integration of Prijedor, via interethnic marriages and development of
2 mining resources in the region.
3 The significant historical revisionism was present one which
4 tormented the minds of those Serbs who remembered Jasenovac, those who
5 witnessed reality and passed it on to their sons and daughters, so that
6 their relatives, victims, wouldn't be forgotten.
7 It was as much of the epic story telling and the -- as it has been
8 when the most Serbian culture which was passed on from generation to
9 generation during the life under Islamist rule in Bosnia from early 15th
10 to the late 19th century. That epiculture preserved Serbian national
11 identity among the two bordering empires invading Serbian lands as they
13 However this was presented to you to distinguish Kolundzija since
14 he was never exposed to those epic stories because Kolundzija's parents
15 accepted overarching communist idea of brotherhood and unity, and that was
16 the word that he could hear every day. For all people of Yugoslavia, the
17 acts of affirmative display of his parents' loyalty to those principle
18 included, among others, naming their firstborn child, a daughter, Stefica,
19 with an exclusively Croatian name. Second child, son, Dragan, was born on
20 December 19, 1959, a day of St. Nicholas by the Serbian calendar.
21 Moreover, that was the day of his family saint protection. That's a
22 traditional Serbian family would have given to their God's gift, their
23 firstborn son, name Nicholas. His parents, defeated nationalistic
24 prejudices of the past. Also religion, took back seat as it was proper
25 for ardent followers of the new order of those times.
1 Having grown up in a home of his aunt who was married to a Muslim
2 man, while his parents went off to work in Germany, as soon as Tito
3 economy of equitable investments faltered where some became more equal
4 than the others. During those times, Dragan Kolundzija became absolutely
5 integrated in multiethnic society. For generations, in his family,
6 Croatians and Muslims were considered brethren who were different only in
7 the past due to the divisive and by communists considered obsolete
8 religious beliefs.
9 Religion was barely practised by all ethnicities in Bosnia because
10 the communist party, the organising force in the society in those days,
11 disfavoured dogmatical factors. Communist salvation was supposed to be on
12 the earth, but couldn't be fully implemented as long as there was any
13 other forms of the governments in the entire world.
14 In its teaching, it was much more extreme than Islamism; however,
15 with proper benefits which corrupt conscious of the subjects, they both
16 spread it -- spread like a wild fire.
17 And here I thought long and hard where to mention the following
18 fact, but since my learned friend had mentioned it, I feel duty-bound to
19 respond. The Prosecution has mentioned the creation of Greater Serbia,
20 and ideas incidental to it. I shall comment only as it relates to
22 Kolundzija's grandfather, Simo, came back from the United States,
23 where he immigrated at the turn of the century, to volunteer in the
24 defence of Serbia at the outset of World War I. While Serbs were on
25 attack from Austrian and German empires. Grandpa Simo not only fought for
1 freedom Serbia which was 400 kilometres away, but for freedom of people of
2 Bosnia too, his brethren, Muslims and Croats, who openly and publicly
3 asked for unification with Serbia.
4 Grandpa Simo, who Dragan admired, would be a self-serving example
5 of Serbian pride to some but chest beating to the others if he were
6 unique. However, Muslims from Bosnia have also fought for "Greater
7 Serbia", if this Trial Chamber were to accept the Prosecutor's theory.
8 The following example refutes it single-handedly. Sukrija
9 Kurtovic, a Bosnian Muslim youth, who studied in Vienna also became World
10 War I volunteer in the Serbian army as he was a Muslim Serb, just as
11 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic declared himself a Serb in a census after World War
12 II. However, Sukrija Kurtovic, his brother, was a captain in the regiment
13 of Serbian Royal Guards having finished military academy in Belgrade.
14 That young man from Sarajevo could have gone to Vienna, Prague or
15 Budapest, the capitals of the big empire that were -- that he was
16 subjugated to, to obtain his education by having instead gone to his
17 brethren in Serbia to enjoy freedom with them.
18 Brothers Kurtovic achieved fame and secularly-minded citizens of
19 Bosnia sent Sukrija to Belgrade as a member of the Yugoslavian
20 parliament. It took about 50 years to 70 years for a spontaneous
21 transformation of the most radical Islamist region of Ottoman Empire and
22 Serbs appreciated and hoped and that enlightened Muslims in the region
23 would become brethren as they were, or at least friendly neighbours.
24 The reforms began with Sultan Mehmmed II, also a Caliph, in 1822,
25 and perhaps few know today who rebelled the first against the changes out
1 of the whole Muslim world. Those were the Bosnian feudal lords who were
2 not about to give civic rights to their Serbs of orthodox religion.
3 Islamist lords of Bosnia carried their insurrection for over 20
4 years, but sultan finally defeated them at the Battle of Kosovo of 1847.
5 Yet, defeated leader Husein Husein-kapetan Gardascevic, who fought sultan
6 armies, became a second martyr of Kosovo, as Car Lazar for Serbs was, from
7 fight of 1389 and are the hero to those Muslims of Bosnia who wanted to
8 enslave their neighbours by the virtue of imposing their view of
9 intolerant Islam.
10 However, I am again here at a privilege to distinguish Kole. He
11 knew nothing about this. Communist regime counterfitted history to fit
12 their ideological needs. Thus neither high school books nor social
13 discourse had scintilla of history Islamism of those times.
14 It is significant to mention that during two periods of democracy,
15 the Islamism of Bosnia resurrected so fast. After World War I, on or
16 about, Sukrija Kurtovic in a speech in a parliament said, being highly
17 critical of a fellow Muslim from Bosnia for his hypocrisy, and he was
18 criticising Mr. Mohammed Spaho who was the leader of the Yugoslavian
19 Muslim organisation saying: Mr. Mohammed Spaho, to demand from other
20 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina to forget their religious determination of
21 historical conflicts, if he, with all of his work among his constituents
22 is heating up the religious divisiveness and brings up to the memory the
23 events of the past, what must lead to clashes among our primitive men.
24 Programmes of hatred lead our primitive men to bloody conflicts in regular
25 party discourse, let alone what may happen to people if a political party
1 jousting on religious ground continue while there are still men living who
2 were beheading and killing others during former religious infighting.
3 The same conclusion about causation of wars on civilisation fault
4 lines has been expressed by Mr. Samuel Huntington, professor, in his book
5 "The Clash Of Civilisation and the Remaking of World Order", first
6 published in 1996. If I could have it presented on the ELMO, please. I
7 will quote here from the page 262, but it will come in the evidence
8 later. The first fairly contested election in almost every former Soviet
9 and former Yugoslav republic were won by political leaders appealing to
10 nationalist sentiments and promising vigorous action to defend their
11 nationality against other ethnic groups. Electoral competition encourages
12 national list appeal --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: You are being asked to speak more slowly.
15 MR. VUCICEVIC: -- promotes the intensification of fault line
16 conflicts into fault line wars. A comments of this book came from the
17 very recognised people of our times like Mr. Kissinger said, "Sam
18 Huntington is one of the West's most eminent political scientists and
19 presents a challenging framework for understanding of the realities in
20 global politics of the next century."
21 However, Mr. Kurtovic calls for tolerant democracy in 1930s fell
22 on a deaf ear just as it happened to cause call for moderation of
23 Mr. Fikret Abdic who emerged as the winner of the first democratic and
24 leader of secular Bosnian Muslim in the elections of December 1990.
25 Mr. Fikret Abdic won those election but he was denied the seat which he
1 duly won.
2 We will present the evidence why, and under what condition that it
3 happened. It wasn't very pleasant. Who instead became the president? A
4 man who best depicted himself by his own seminal work, the Islamic
5 declaration, by which he has put on notice secular Muslims and others in
6 Bosnia that they shall become citizens without civic rights if he becomes
7 successful in Islamisation of the Bosnian state.
8 However, if we reconcile and we will represent to you further that
9 Bosnia was exception to the rule of the fault line wars of civilisations,
10 these Honourable Judges do know that there are no rules without
11 exceptions, and it seems what the civilisations, as Mr. Huntington is
12 naming them there; western, eastern, including orthodoxy and Muslim. And
13 he is submitting the views which were known in the late 1980s and early
14 1990s that the bloodiest clashes do occur between the peoples along the
15 fault lines, the borders of these civilisations.
16 If I may have another picture. You will see the map of Europe
17 with a shaded line going all the way from the North Sea down to the
18 Adriatic, and where the fault line curves the most, where does it
19 crisscross itself? Where anybody who follows the ethnic conflicts must
20 realise at the beginning, where shall the earthquake be the highest, with
21 every scale we decide to choose. Prijedor is there, Bihac and, if I may
22 just approach here with your permission, here we go. That's Prijedor.
23 Bihac, a Muslim territory [microphone not activated]... enclave where
24 the -- Mr. Abdic had been living and culturing historic views are located
25 outside of the fault line. Thank you, sir.
1 This map was first published in a journal of foreign affairs in
2 1990 way before the conflict in Bosnia started. That was only printed in
3 this book later. I will present this in evidence at a later time.
4 As I said, Bosnia was an exception to the rule of fault line wars
5 of civilisations. Elections didn't lead to war, but fraud on peoples'
6 will, the collective will of Serbs, Muslims and Croats of Bosnia. This
7 was an act of religious meddling in politics that Kurtovic saw in his time
8 and warned against it. Social experiment of Bosnia of Tito's time was
9 indeed successful and ready to thrive, but for the insurmountable meddling
10 of powers, both from the western and Islamic civilisations.
11 Western Europeans conducted a transitions in Yugoslavia with
12 usual flare of hypocritical demagoguery. In their views, Yugoslavia was
13 dead on arrival since encompassed Serbs, Croats and Muslims, while Bosnia
14 had to be recognised an independent states which had to be stitched of the
15 same incompatible ethnic groups. However, hypocrisy always have its
16 interest, but never its reasons. In Yugoslavia, Serbs were majority while
17 in Bosnia they would be minority. This "logic" Serbs of Bosnia faced from
18 western Europe, from 1878 at a time when -- after Congress of Berlin,
19 after Franco-Prussian war, Bosnia was given under trusteeship to
20 Austro-Hungarian empire. Well, it wasn't only trusteeship, but annexation
21 came in 1908.
22 What had happened before this war, there was a sudden revival of
23 Islamism and identification with the most radical Muslim nations that just
24 contributed to this -- to the war. Perhaps today, it behooves us all to
25 look what had happened a few days ago by the most Islamic -- by most
1 extreme Islamic nation in the world. Some of the landmarks of all
2 civilisations have been blown away. Serbs did have, in their history, a
3 certain equally shocking occurrences, and I do want you to keep that in
4 mind. I do not want to give you a details now but indeed, they had it.
5 The world didn't know it.
6 As the Prosecutor said, I would agree with him, that in 1992,
7 regions inhabited predominantly with Serbs with seceded, but is secession
8 a crime or is it a right to self-determination? Throughout 1970s and
9 1960s, I think that was -- that was the main political topic for
10 liberation of many, many people throughout the world who were liberating
11 themselves from the colonial rule.
12 Perhaps what motivated Serbs, they didn't want to live under the
13 sharia and to be subjected to those Muslim extremists who were going to
14 carry jihad against their own neighbours, and these will be their own
15 words that will come out of the mouth of a moderate Muslim who said that
16 that's why he took arms to fight extremist Islam in Bosnia. And the fact
17 is that that was another fight, not only a fight between Serbs and extreme
18 Islam, but there was a civil war between two different groups of Islam in
19 Bosnia, intolerant and secular.
20 Let me come back to Prijedor. It was an integrated oasis
21 ambivalent to the meddling of foreign powers and warmongering of extremist
22 from all sides until the first shots were fired. The quake, which
23 Mr. Huntington is suggesting that followed did occur because we have seen
24 that the fault line crisscross in Prijedor unlike in any other -- on any
25 other point in European continent. Thus these shots, the first shots in
1 Prijedor that nobody expected drew fear and anger of Prijedor overnight.
2 Prosecutor's theory is that such acts -- that all the
3 consequences, brutal and gruesome and crimes of all kinds that have
4 occurred prove the existence of the plan of persecution of all Muslims in
5 the area. However, I respectfully suggest that it is just an
6 unsupportable conjecture.
7 To understand such a sudden occurrence in a peaceful society, I
8 could perhaps illustrate by a World War II relocation of ethnic Japanese
9 in the United States, Japanese nationals and American citizens whose
10 citizenship was taken away without any hearing or anything, and they were
11 all relocated.
12 Fear was not strange to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He
13 deserved a credit for pulling the nation and the world from the great
14 depression. In his opening speech he asked the nation to overcome the
15 fear because, in his words, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself."
16 However, he and the nation - my new nation - succumbed to the
17 national fears of imminent Japanese invasion which drew, and I'm quoting
18 the words of an inmate of one of those camps, those acts, acts of
19 invasion, which was 10.000 miles away but not shots that were fired next
20 door, drew fear and anger of a nation overnight.
21 With your permission, I will use a very short excerpt from a
22 documentary which also exists on a public site and I will quote also a web
23 site for that, and that documentary is on the plight of the Japanese
24 Americans. This documentary was supported by the public -- Corporation
25 for Public Broadcasting and the Civil Liberties Educational Fund. This
1 film received best documentary award of the New York International
2 Independent Film Festival and also received the best award for war and
3 peace category at Vermont International Festival Film. Some of the papers
4 commented, like Seattle Union Record, documentary --
5 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Mr. Vucicevic, what's the relevance of
6 this to the trial?
7 MR. VUCICEVIC: Your Honour, the relevance of this is going to
8 show that in a society, the similar occurrences could cause such a
9 tremendous fear that the nations could react similarly at a similar
10 circumstances, and the plan does not have to be premeditated, planned and
11 everything else, but events could come all of a sudden, and developments
12 could be without malice aforethought, to make a comparison with the usual
13 crime, that consequences do not necessarily deserve deduction that certain
14 things were planned, because this documentary is going to show that even
15 the President Roosevelt called these concentration camps. The clip will
16 show that these people were told that they will be relocated to the
17 communities, but they were sent to the race course barns and kept in the
18 stalls, that their property was taken away, and then able-bodied men were
19 to volunteer to the army. When they resisted, they were taken to the
20 concentration camp of much higher security, where they were beaten, in the
21 camp which did have guard towers and tanks around them.
22 I am not here to suggest to you that my new nation had ever
23 intended to cause suffering, that had ever planned, but fear had caused
24 the president to commit an unconstitutional act. And all those who were
25 putting that into the effect has -- have acted in such a fashion that it
1 caused a great suffering and certain crimes. My new nation has displayed
2 that for the world to see and I am merely suggesting to Your Honours to
3 take a look and to see what fear could do. Judge you shall; advocate we
4 will; but I feel it is my duty to show you --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Vucicevic, go ahead, very quickly. Show what
6 you want to show.
7 MR. VUCICEVIC: Will you please?
9 [Videotape played]
11 MR. VUCICEVIC: I shall not comment nothing because there is sound
14 [Videotape played]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it very much longer, Mr. Vucicevic?
17 MR. VUCICEVIC: Another minute.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Another minute. Okay.
20 [Videotape played]
22 MR. VUCICEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours, for permitting me to
23 share this with you.
24 However, I must distinguish my client. Kolundzija feared no
25 neighbours of his. Obviously, he thought the civil war shall never
1 happen. Thus, even while working, his truck was one of the last that came
2 back from Croatia to Bosnia over Sava river before the bridge was blown.
3 A few days later he responded to a call-up when summoned by the
4 JNA, Yugoslavian Narodna Armija. In an oath, he swore to uphold and
5 thought JNA would support unified Yugoslavia. He realised that on that
6 day, SDA, that was Party of Democratic Action, in Prijedor had a big
7 protest meeting at the main square, instructing Muslim men not to
8 respond. A good friend of Kolundzija, a driver from the same haulage
9 association, didn't respond to the call-up. However, two days later he
10 came to the unit and commented, "I went to the meeting to see what my
11 people thought, so that confused me, so I made my mind at last and I am
12 back in the army." He was welcomed by all of his fellow soldiers,
13 including Kolundzija.
14 A few days later, Kole and his friend came to Prijedor on
15 assignment hauling a load for the military, and they took a break, stopped
16 at their association. Two other Muslims drivers at the same association
17 said nothing to Kole but his friend was cursed and they were saying to him
18 -- Mr. Kadijevic in those days was the supreme commander of the Yugoslav
19 National Army and the conversation took place like this: "Have Kadeavic F
20 expletive word you? Why did you put that uniform on yourself?" Kole
21 laughed at that exchange but his friend said, "When I come back, I will be
22 Kadijevic for you."
23 Kole thought that this was just an insignificant banter, thinking
24 that this colloquy between tolerant and extreme Muslims will never become
25 a problem in Prijedor if secession is prevented elsewhere.
1 After returning from Croatia, where the Kole had only been a
2 driver and never came closer than two kilometres to the front lines, he
3 resumed now his past haulage and was getting his informations only from
4 Yutel, a television station that was based in Sarajevo and was produced
5 and directed by a pro-Yugoslavia oriented Croatian man. Therefore,
6 Kolundzija never thought that he would see a war in Prijedor. However, he
7 was reassigned later to the reserve police unit to secure all civilians
8 and that happened in late April of 1992.
9 After Serb takeover of power in Prijedor, time passed uneventfully
10 for Kolundzija, who provided sentry duty at public buildings. He never
11 thought that Keraterm would be anything else than a ceramic tile factory.
12 However, by following his orders, he found himself on the morning of June
13 3rd as a guard of detainees in the same factory.
14 The detention centre, as it was then called by the Serbian police,
15 was already set up and guarded by the military before his arrival there.
16 Military also continued to provide additional outside perimeter guards at
18 Kolundzija was during month of June an ordinary guard who raised
19 questions of mistreatment of prisoners to his commander, Mr. Dzinko
20 Knezevic, and constantly protested how much longer he is going -- this was
21 going to go on, Keraterm and his assignment therein. The answers were
22 three to four days and this will be over. He believed it since it seemed
23 a very sincere answer by his commander.
24 As that might seem insincere to you now, but I will ensure you,
25 and we will present you evidence that recently discovered documents by
1 this Defence counsel, pursuant to the request that was already before you,
2 and this Trial Chamber has been informed about the discovery of the
3 documents, will conclusively prove that Serbian authorities for Krajina
4 disclosed existence of these prisons and prisoners within seven days of
5 their establishment and three days after Kolundzija's assignment therein,
6 to the international authorities, highest military and civilian officers
7 on territory in Yugoslavia.
8 They also requested medicine and foods and convoys to be
9 established to Banja Luka and Krajina because Serbs were lacking them and
10 were expecting that their stocks will not last more than a few days.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Vucicevic, it's approaching 1.00, time for
12 the adjournment. Will you be bringing your closing to an end?
13 MR. VUCICEVIC: Your Honour, I will have -- I did think it was
14 going to be 45 minutes but after the Prosecutor's statement, I believe
15 I'll take about 15 minutes to comment on the acts that were allegedly
16 committed by my client. So I might take a little longer. I would prefer
17 if you would allow me to continue after the break.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Very well, then.
19 MR. VUCICEVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: When we resume this afternoon, which will be at
21 2.30, after Mr. Vucicevic's presentation, I will deal with some
22 administrative matters before we begin with the taking of the evidence.
23 But there is one matter that concerns the Chamber, and I want to raise it
25 The accused Sikirica is running a defence of alibi. He is saying
1 he wasn't there. The Prosecution will be bringing witnesses who will say
2 otherwise. As far as we can see, the accused Sikirica has not been
3 identified before by these witnesses and the issue of his identification
4 as the person who committed the crimes is obviously very crucial. It
5 seems likely therefore that what will happen is that when the Prosecution
6 witnesses come in, they will identify him, and the dangers of that kind of
7 identification are well-known.
8 I want counsel on both sides to prepare themselves to make
9 submissions on that issue to the Chamber.
10 Yes, Mr. Greaves?
11 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour was anticipating something I was
12 literally about to get on my feet and say, that I had a short oral motion
13 to make to you concerning this very topic, but it may be that it is
14 sensible to deal with it. Not having raised the matter, we can make
15 mutual submissions rather than me simply having to stand and make a motion
16 orally to Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MR. GREAVES: I was aware of it and I was going to deal with it
19 before the first witness gave evidence this afternoon. I'm certainly
20 alert to it. I warned my learned friend Mr. Ryneveld that I was going to
21 make such a motion so he is not taken by surprise by the issue.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We will deal with it in the manner I
23 have outlined. We will take the adjournment now and resume at 2.30 p.m.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.34 p.m.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Vucicevic, I think you are in the last stages
3 of your opening.
4 MR. VUCICEVIC: Yes, Your Honour. If I may proceed, please.
5 As I said before the break, defence of Kolundzija has a document
6 which depicts a meeting that took place in Belgrade on June 7th, 1992
7 where, from the Serbian authorities, Mr. Alexander Buha who was, at that
8 time, a minister in the government was present and also in the government
9 of government of Krajia, Mr. Lalovic was present where they have informed
10 the highest authority of the United Nations in Yugoslavia at that time of
11 existence of prisoners and their attempt to exchange those prisoners with
12 the government of -- the Bosnian government, but they have received
13 communication that they were not interested in exchange of those prisoners
14 but that only they would accept food and arms and ammunition in exchange
15 for Serbian prisoners.
16 Then, the Serbian authorities requested that International
17 Committee of Red Cross be informed. I think that directly counters the
18 assertions that the Prosecutor has just stated in his opening. Also,
19 Mr. Vulliamy who will testify for the Prosecution has indicated in one of
20 the articles, one of the many articles that he has written that, indeed,
21 international organisations and the governments had known from the very
22 beginning of existence of these camps and merely that he has two months
23 later reported about it. However, that was not hidden.
24 The reason that I am bringing this up is there was no intent to
25 harm these prisoners at the time that the camps were established. The
1 situation became suddenly worse during the middle of July 1992.
2 Kolundzija doesn't know why it happened. He only knows that a big group
3 of prisoners was brought in one afternoon. He refused to admit them since
4 the facility was overcrowded. He knew of the conditions that they were
5 in, and he didn't want it aggravated.
6 He was aware that they had pallets which the tiles were carried on
7 that were only there instead of beds. However, at the beginning, Room 3
8 was used as the detention facility for the Serbians who were suspected of
9 committing any crimes. Those prisoners also had nothing to lay on, and
10 they were getting the same food and same pallets as the Muslim prisoners
11 who were in the Rooms 1 and 2.
12 Later on, as the number of the Muslims and Croatians who were in
13 prison grew, that the detention room for the Serbians who were suspected
14 of committing any crimes were -- was moved behind the Keraterm building.
15 But still, conditions there were the same as they were in the rooms where
16 the Muslims and Croatians were kept.
17 Kolundzija didn't notice anything unusual on the evening of the
18 24th, just as the many witnesses, inmates that the Defence will produce
19 will testify. Others the Prosecutor will produce, will testify as to the
20 vague and unreliable acts of preparation, perhaps some that we will show
21 have resulted from the years of mutual -- without any disparagement,
22 recycling of the events, and perhaps with some motivation to aid in
23 Prosecution of this case.
24 As far as the night of the 24th of July, 1992 is concerned,
25 although it's not disputed that massacre took place on the shift where
1 Kolundzija had only de minimis authority to observe and report to the
2 commanders, like on any other shift before, before any shooting occurred,
3 he called the high-ranking police and military commanders to come in and
4 restore order in the camp since the inmates began rioting. Commanders
5 arrived at the scene and after that moment, Kolundzija had no command
6 authority at all.
7 It is expected that the evidence from the both Prosecution and
8 Defence will show that he personally took no part in shooting. He was not
9 in a position to control or stop the shooting from the arms which had been
10 brought in by the soldiers, control having been taken from him by an army
11 unit of much greater size and strength. He tried to stop the shooting and
12 he tried to protect the detainees.
13 As far as the indirect participation is concerned, it is agreed
14 that the Prosecution -- with the Prosecution that criminal liability can
15 only be established if a conduct is coupled with intent and that intent
16 involves awareness of the act or participation coupled with a conscious
17 decision to participate by planning, instigating, ordering, committing or
18 otherwise aiding and abetting in the commission of crime. That was
19 verbatim from the Tadic judgement. And that the Prosecution must prove
20 that the accused contributed in some manner to the commission of the
21 illegal act, or that he must distinguish himself by having done certain
22 acts which are contrary to the alleged plan; and that is from the appeal
23 judgement on Tadic.
24 And we respectfully submit that Kolundzija has performed all those
25 acts at all times without discrimination to those that he knew and those
1 that he didn't. As a matter of fact, he helped many more of those that he
2 didn't know because he was quite a secluded man before the war. He didn't
3 know too many people, but whoever came and asked for his assistance, the
4 assistance was never refused. Not even a single family member ever had
5 been turned back when the food was brought in by the families.
6 Kolundzija has been going around town picking up the food from the
7 families of the detainees and bringing it to the centre. Kolundzija has
8 taken detainees without knowing who they were, at the times there was no
9 electricity in town, to the neighbouring well, and there would be 10 to 15
10 prisoners going, and sometimes it would be him or sometimes only one of
11 the other guards taking all these people to get some cold water in the
12 scorching heat of July.
13 The guards, most of them reside in the neighbourhood. Discipline
14 was not a discipline the way the military discipline was because they were
15 a reserve police unit and they all went home to eat, most of them never
16 reporting to the shift leaders, and therefore the food that was brought to
17 the inmates at the same time - the food which was brought by the military
18 by the way - was brought to the guards.
19 Kolundzija on his own has asked the room leaders from all the
20 rooms to find out who are the weak and underaged of the inmates and had
21 given them that food to eat. No man who ever wanted to harm the prisoners
22 would be giving the food, his food, because he didn't eat their food. He
23 never went home to eat, so he took it away from his mouth to give it to
24 the detainees.
25 On two occasions, he had taken prisoners home to change, to see
1 the families, all without asking any permission from anybody else, risking
2 his position as a man who would be subjected to torture or who would be
3 sent to the front line, to the most dangerous task and perhaps lose his
4 life. Those thoughts were not present in his head. He did what he could
5 to help, to help everybody, not just a few. He would allow inmates to use
6 the phone to call home, and he would even discourage some of those whom he
7 knew because he was not going to play favourites. And you will have
8 witnesses who were inmates there whom Kole said, "No, you can't call
9 today. Let somebody else call."
10 There is no evidence that Kolundzija acted in any part of any
11 common agreement with the local political leaders to commit offences as a
12 part of either policy, if it allegedly existed. There was no evidence
13 that Kole was -- as a shift leader, was a high or even an official rank
14 giving superior authority with a power to punish guards so that he could
15 give a signal of official tolerance to beating of -- or acts of
17 While this seems a little strange here, but I think to explain any
18 function we have to look into the practices of the society that existed at
19 that time, and there is no meaning or word could be taken and directly
20 translated. And the police at that time was considered to be from --
21 after years of worker self-management that was practised in Yugoslavia --
22 was supposed to be like a working unit, like a unit from a -- some
23 government company, where 10 or 15 workers would have their leader, and
24 that leader couldn't punish them, couldn't discipline them, he could only
25 report to the higher ups who had all those authorities.
1 Kole had a lot of respect for -- from his fellow guards because
2 Kole, even when he was ordered to become shift leader, though unwillingly,
3 accepted it because he knew that he could protect a lot more than by not
4 accepting it and going away. There were those that he knew whom he became
5 accustomed, shared their suffering, and he couldn't leave. He continued
6 to help.
7 There was never -- you will not hear in evidence ever that Kole
8 called anybody out who was loaded on the trucks and later the remains of
9 those were found. You will hear the evidence that Kole once was asked to
10 find a few volunteers and he refused it and asked for a written order, and
11 volunteers were not taken from his shift.
12 Prosecutor is suggesting that on one night, Kole called somebody
13 out, but our evidence is going to show that the only night when Kole went
14 to a Room 2 was - and only once - to call out a prisoner who was brought
15 and spent only one night and who is today alive and well and is alderman
16 in the city of Prijedor. Prior to the conflict, he was the Captain in the
17 Yugoslav army and became a military leader of the city of Kozarac.
18 But Kole was nudged by his fellow guards. He went over there
19 while all room, all detainees had "Cirkin, Cirkin, that's Kole. You can
20 trust him. You can go out." And Kole went to talk because him and his
21 guards never being in military action in Kozarac wanted to find out,
22 curiosity what had happened. Mr. Cirkin, being a captain and a lawyer, a
23 smart man that he is, careful, didn't come out. But in the morning, he
24 did come out and the man who made him a cup of coffee was Dragan
1 The Defence denies that Kolundzija committed any crime. Any
2 suggestion that he could have left his post had he been unwilling to
3 continue at the camp shall be refuted that he was not a volunteer who
4 could have withdrawn from his position while being an unranked guard or
5 shift leader. He was a compulsory enlisted national serviceman assigned
6 to the reserve police who had every reason to believe that had he deserted
7 that post, he would be locked up and beaten to death in the camp just as
8 it befell another Serb called Jovo Radocaj who was deemed to have been
9 cooperating with the extremist Muslims or sent to the warfront to certain
10 death, as I said earlier, or the most dangerous task possible.
11 Furthermore, he could be of more help with reducing the suffering
12 of detainees, many of whom, as I said, were his friends and he stayed. He
13 stayed to help them. There is expected to be evidence from many, from
14 Prosecution, that he was a good shift leader.
15 Having stated the like of actus reus and mens rea still most
16 importantly the Prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that
17 Kolundzija was directly or indirectly a knowing and willing participant in
18 the offences set out in the indictment. We respectfully submit that the
19 Prosecutor will fall short in meeting his burden of proof on all elements
20 of the crimes that he is charged. Since the evidence will turn out as
21 stated, then Dragan Kolundzija would be entitled to the acquittal at the
22 end of the Prosecutor case in chief. Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Vucicevic.
24 I turn now to deal with a number of matters prior to the taking of
25 evidence. The first is that there is a schedule which should have been
1 distributed. Have you received it, with the dates?
2 MR. RYNEVELD: If this is the schedule that was produced some
3 weeks ago, yes, we do have that.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, there is a more up-to-date --
5 MR. RYNEVELD: We have a scheduling order with a list of when the
6 courts will be sitting, et cetera, et cetera, but that was at least ten
7 days ago. I haven't received anything further, to my knowledge.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think it has been revised. I'll see that it is
9 distributed. But for the immediate time, it is necessary for me to say
10 that the Chamber will not be sitting on Friday, the 23rd of March, there
11 being a diplomatic reception, nor will the Chamber sit on the 30th of
12 March, Friday the 30th of March. So the first two Fridays the Chamber
13 will not sit. I will see to it that this is distributed, the most
14 up-to-date schedule immediately after we adjourn today.
15 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Secondly, there is a motion from Mr. Vucicevic to
17 be allowed to use the language of the witness, B/C/S. I am to say that
18 there is no need for such a motion, since the Rules permit this.
19 Next, the question of transcripts. There is a motion from the
20 Prosecution to admit transcripts in respect of six witnesses. The
21 practice that has developed in the Tribunal, and which we intend to adopt,
22 is to have the Prosecution distribute the whole transcript, marking the
23 relevant areas so that we know what are the areas which are identified as
24 relevant. We would need three copies in English and two in French, and
25 the Prosecution will have two weeks to accomplish that.
1 I observe that there is no response from Sikirica on this
2 particular matter. You may want to give some thought to that if indeed
3 you intend to make a response.
4 In respect of the witness Vulliamy, the motion to have access to
5 his notes, tapes, and so on, that will be dealt with at the same time that
6 we deal with the transcripts, the admissibility of the transcripts.
7 Now, the Prosecution is to complete its case by June 1st. That's
8 in a period of ten weeks, and we will sit longer hours if that is
9 necessary. This, of course, requires the cooperation of all parties, the
10 Prosecution and the Defence, to ensure that the necessary discipline and
11 rigor is applied to the case, confining questions to relevant areas.
12 I see the Prosecution has submitted 14 witnesses for the first two
13 weeks, and I think that's a very good aim. We only need to see that it is
14 accomplished. The 58 includes the six transcripts?
15 MR. RYNEVELD: It does, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: It does.
17 You will keep under review, as we go along, as will the Chamber,
18 the whole question of relying on Rule 92 bis and, where necessary,
19 avoiding viva voce evidence. Those are the matters I wanted to raise
20 before we turn to the question that I raised before in respect of which
21 we'll have submissions from both parties.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Greaves, yes, since you indicated you were
24 going to do an oral motion, we'll start with you.
25 MR. GREAVES: I'm grateful. You were -- can I first of all start
1 by addressing you on what is the law of this Tribunal in relation to this
2 particular topic.
3 Your Honour, a perusal of the Rules will reveal that there is --
4 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence will reveal that there is no specific
5 rule which deals specifically and authoritatively with this issue. That
6 being so, I respectfully submit that Your Honours have to fall back on
7 four provisions in order to see what is the basis for admitting or
8 excluding the kind of evidence that I anticipate the Prosecutor will seek
9 to adduce.
10 Those four provisions are Articles 20 and 21 of the Statute and
11 Rules 89 and 95 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence. I'm sure Your
12 Honours will forgive me if I briefly remind you of the text of those Rules
13 and the relevant parts thereof.
14 Article 20, subparagraph 1, "The Trial Chamber shall ensure that a
15 trial is fair," and that's an article which is headed, "Commencement and
16 Conduct of Trial Proceedings."
17 Article 21 headed rights of the accused subparagraph 2, "In the
18 determination of charges against him, the accused shall be entitled to a
19 fair and public hearing."
20 Rule 89 is in section 3 of the Rules, Rules of Evidence, and it's
21 headed, "General Provisions". And the first four paragraphs A to D are,
22 we submit, relevant to this issue. Paragraph A, "A Chamber shall apply
23 the rules of evidence set forth in this section and shall not be bound by
24 national rules of evidence."
25 Subparagraph B, "In cases not otherwise provided for in this
1 section, a Chamber shall apply Rules of Evidence which will best favour a
2 fair determination of the matter before it and are consonant with the
3 spirit of the Statute and the general principles of law."
4 Subparagraph C, "A Chamber may admit any relevant evidence which
5 it deems to have probative value." D, "A Chamber may exclude evidence if
6 its probative value is substantially outweighed by the need to ensure a
7 fair trial."
8 And finally, Rule 95, is headed "Exclusion of Certain Evidence."
9 It reads, "No evidence shall be admissible if obtained by methods which
10 cast substantial doubt on its reliability or if its admission is
11 antithetical to, and would seriously damage, the integrity of the
13 There has -- and I'm recalling this off the top of my head, there
14 has been one particular instance where the issue has been referred to in a
15 judgement of the Tribunal. That was in the first case before the Tribunal
16 involving the Prosecutor versus Tadic. My recollection is that in the
17 judgement, there was a brief reference to in-court identifications which
18 were admitted but to which, and I think the phrase used was, "very little
19 weight as attached."
20 Your Honour, we submit that the process of conducting an in-court
21 identification is one which is inherently unfair, both generally and in
22 the particular context of this Tribunal. What is the nature of the
23 process? In most legal systems, if one is to judge by that which one sees
24 on television, seem to have a separate area where accused persons are
25 detained for the purposes of a trial. The accused sits either in a dock,
1 for example, as it's known in the English system, or at a separate table.
2 Almost always, he is flanked, he or she is flanked by uniformed court
3 officers or police officers or guards.
4 For an astute and alert witness, it is never going to be terribly
5 difficult for that person to pick out where in the courtroom an accused
6 person is sitting.
7 I'll come to the specific example of this court layout in a
9 There are some particular issues which affect this Tribunal in our
10 submission. The first is this: As part of the process of investigating,
11 detaining and trying suspects and accused, there is a widespread
12 dissemination, both in the world and in particular in the former
13 Yugoslavia, of images of either arrested or wanted persons.
14 There are wanted posters disseminated all over the country. And
15 if I may be forgiven for a moment for giving evidence before you, I've
16 certainly been in Bijelina and Brcko and have seen such posters in some
17 places. There is broadcast of court proceedings - and again I've been
18 staying in hotels where Bosnian television has had quite substantial
19 sections of proceedings before the Tribunal being broadcast, and I think
20 there is in fact a weekly programme which is a digest of what has happened
21 recently before the Tribunal.
22 And I have no doubt that, for example, given the importance of
23 today's -- this case, there will be some coverage in the former Yugoslavia
24 of today's proceedings before you.
25 There are sites on the Internet which have on them images of
1 accused and wanted people. They are readily accessible by anybody with a
2 modicum of expertise in searching the Internet.
3 I turn now to the physical layout of this courtroom.
4 The witness of course sits here. Looking around this room, Your
5 Honours will notice that there are remarkably few people who aren't in
6 fact either uniformed or robed, either in the robes of the international
7 Tribunal or the robes of the bar of the Netherlands or robes of their
8 national jurisdictions. And of course, my learned friend, Mr. Ryneveld
9 and his colleagues sit there. They are obviously not going to be accused
10 people. There is a line of very obviously lawyerish looking people here,
11 also wearing robes, with the exception of our interpreter but she, of
12 course, is a woman. There are members of the registry all wearing robes
13 of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and then there are Your Honours who are
14 obviously dressed somewhat differently from the rest of us. There are
15 four people at present sitting behind the Prosecutor. One is a lady
16 obviously doing court reporting, and three gentlemen at the far side.
17 There is a guard just to my immediate left, and then behind us there we
18 have the accused, each flanked by a guard in blue uniform.
19 We submit that a witness who comes and sits in this court is not
20 going to find it very difficult to see where it is the accused, whether
21 they be one in number or three in number, are sitting, and it's not going
22 to be terribly difficult for him to have a try at picking out who he's
23 been invited to pick out.
24 So given all those people, we say that the process is one which is
25 inherently unfair.
1 In one case in which I was involved, that process was made even
2 more unfair when the learned Presiding Judge in the Tribunal started to
3 come in in the mornings and actually tell the witnesses where the accused
4 were sitting in the court and would point him out, and so the unfairness
5 of it became compounded.
6 The next thing we submit is this: That in this proceeding -- in
7 the procedure of identifying an accused or a suspect, there are available
8 to the Prosecution - indeed to the Defence if they want to do it - much
9 more satisfactory and much fairer means of conducting identifications.
10 Three come to mind but it's not an exhaustive list: the identification
11 parade, the photo spread or photo board, or identification by a series of
12 video images being presented to an accused.
13 Each of those, provided they are conducted in a reasonably
14 disciplined and well-structured way, is inherently fairer than the
15 procedure which my learned friend will propose to Your Honours as being
16 appropriate. They are available and easy to carry out and there is no
17 reason, we submit, why they shouldn't be carried out with any witness if
18 the Prosecution so chooses.
19 At the very least, the Prosecution ought to exhaust those means
20 first in order to establish what the position is as regards any particular
22 What I'd like very, very briefly to do, Your Honour -- and I do
23 this not in order to suggest to Your Honours that the English system is
24 the best and one that you should adopt automatically, I'm not doing it for
25 that purpose at all. I'm doing it simply to give you an idea of how the
1 law in England developed and why, because my submission is that it's now
2 developed to an extent where a reasonably sensible and well-accepted
3 procedure exists. In the 1970s there were a number of troubling cases
4 which came before the Court of Appeal involving identification evidence,
5 and there was one particular notorious case involving a man who is now a
6 government minister who was on trial for robbery and where the issue of
7 identification evidence became important. And it was in that way that the
8 matter came before the public for more general discussion. The upshot of
9 it was that a considerable amount of Court of Appeal activity then took
10 place in order to give guidance both to the courts and to practitioners
11 and to the police as to the fairest and best means of conducting
12 identification procedures and admitting identification evidence before the
14 One of the consequences of that procedure -- of that development
15 was that the Attorney General announced that prosecutors instructed by him
16 would no longer seek to identify in court for the first time an accused or
17 a suspect. The past 25 years have seen considerable development in
18 relation to the law of identification for criminal cases. The present
19 position is that there now exists an extensive code of practice, code of
20 conduct for identification procedures. It's set out in all the up-to-date
21 textbooks for practitioners, the most obvious of which comes to mind is
22 one called Archibald, which I know is in the library here to consult it.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel slow down, please?
24 MR. GREAVES: Sorry. That code of conduct provides, as I say,
25 strict rules of procedure. The consequences of failing to follow properly
1 the procedure, if the failure to follow is a substantial one, is that the
2 evidence is almost always excluded, but it depends on each individual
3 case. Observance of the rules is not rigid. There is certainly one
4 decided case where the police were having difficulties assembling enough
5 people from the public to conduct an identification parade so what they
6 did was put a video in a corridor of a police station which had a large
7 number of people passing and repassing along it and at one stage allowed
8 the defendant to come along that corridor. The video was then shown to
9 the witnesses and the Court of Appeal decided that that was not an unfair
10 procedure and was therefore admissible.
11 I understand that in the former Yugoslavia there certainly is some
12 form of identification parade procedure. It may well be that either my
13 learned friend Mr. Londrovic or Mr. Petrovic could assist Your Honours if
14 you wanted information about that system.
15 Your Honours, in conclusion what we submit is this: Of course
16 such evidence may satisfy the test of relevance. The issue of identity is
17 plainly relevant in this case. But we say this: The evidence is not
18 probative of really terribly much given the particular physical
19 constraints that I've pointed out and the circumstances to which I have
20 adverted. At best it demonstrates the ability of someone to pick out a
21 fish in a barrel. Even if it is probative, we would respectfully submit,
22 that it would be appropriate to apply Rule 89(d) and Rule 95 and say that
23 this evidence is really not particularly reliable and it is sufficiently
24 unreliable that it ought not to be admitted. And secondly, that given the
25 very nature of the exercise that is conducted and to which I have pointed
1 out, it is inherently unfair and therefore falls foul of those provisions
2 to which I have alluded, Articles 20 and 21 and Article 89(a).
3 Those are my submissions.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Greaves, your submission then is that there should
5 be no dock identification?
6 MR. GREAVES: Your Honour has it in one.
7 JUDGE MAY: There is a distinction, is there not, between the case
8 in which a witness identifies somebody after what's often called a
9 fleeting glance?
10 MR. GREAVES: Yes.
11 JUDGE MAY: Classically the case of a mugging in a street in which
12 the whole thing happens within a few seconds and the accused is gone -- or
13 the perpetrator is gone. It is particularly those cases which are the
14 causes of concern, as I think you'll agree.
15 Now, there is a distinction between that sort of case and the case
16 where the witness knows the accused, has known him over a long time, and a
17 case, which may be the case here, I don't know, in which the accused says,
18 "Well, I was in this camp for three months, I got to know X or Y." And
19 then it's simply a question of recognition rather than identification.
20 MR. GREAVES: Yes.
21 JUDGE MAY: Now, the circumstances may vary. Any of these
22 circumstances may apply to this case, but isn't it a case really where the
23 Trial Chamber are going to have to look at what it is which is sought to
24 be proved rather than making a blanket order? That is, having to look at
25 each case to see what the Prosecution are asking us to do, rather than to
1 make a blanket order at the very beginning which may be unfair on them?
2 MR. GREAVES: I think there are two points, if I may say so. The
3 first is this: The problem of widespread dissemination of images of the
4 accused - and indeed I see today that yet further photographs are being
5 taken of him on two occasions today in the court. That is the real danger
6 is that someone may see an image on a television or some other place and
7 is simply recognising a picture that he's seen of the accused who is
8 identified to him on the television as Sikirica. That's the danger. And
9 he may do it unconsciously. He may simply see the picture, listen to the
10 news broadcast out of interest, not realising the importance of what he is
11 doing and unconsciously pick the man out as a result of that. That's the
13 The second point is this: Of course, there are cases of
14 recognition or cases of fleeting glances, and those are important. One of
15 the factors that we have to consider here, and it is relevant in our
16 submission, is this is not a case which is appearing before the courts six
17 months after the events which are being described. We are talking about a
18 case which is coming before you after nearly nine years.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Those are matters that would affect the weight to
20 be given to the evidence. We would have to assess matters like that.
21 MR. GREAVES: Of course, but it also goes part and parcel of what
22 I call particular issues affecting this Tribunal, and I perhaps should
23 have adverted to that as well earlier on. If one takes all those factors
24 together, then the process begins to look, in our submission, inherently
25 unfair and potentially unfair on each occasion, we submit.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
2 MR. GREAVES: Do any other of Your Honours have any questions that
3 I could answer?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no more questions. Mr. Ryneveld?
5 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honours. At the outset it appears
6 that the issues raised by Judge May with my learned friend actually
7 outline exactly the proposal that I had in terms of a response to my
8 learned friend's submission.
9 I have here that there is the issue of recognition witnesses
10 versus identification witnesses. And that each case, we would
11 respectfully submit, turns on its own unique and individual facts for each
12 witness. There are a number of witnesses, as will become obvious from the
13 summaries that will be provided, who knew the accused or some of them,
14 before the conflict, knew them intimately, and of course, for those
15 witnesses, the issue of recognition would be straightforward but for the
16 passage of some nine years.
17 My friend's issue about the unfairness of perhaps witnesses having
18 seen images on the media can of course be dealt with properly by
19 appropriate examination in chief and cross-examination about what the
20 witness had seen, all of which the court can take into consideration in
21 making the determination as to whether or not the witness is in fact
22 recalling who they saw back in 1992 or whether it's -- their memory has
23 been refreshed by other images later.
24 Another issue my friend has raised of course is the structure of
25 this courtroom and that there are only -- that the only persons not
1 somehow robed or somehow in uniform are the accused at the back of the
2 courtroom. This is different again of course, and this is a very minor
3 point but it isn't a single accused. There are three different accused
4 and it may well be that witnesses may confuse one with the other so there
5 is the additional factor of three different people, not just one person.
6 That is a very minor issue but it's a point.
7 His lordship Judge May raised the issue of not a fleeting
8 glimpse. That's exactly my point in this case, that most of these
9 witnesses you will hear were in the camp over a two month or more period
10 and met these people on rotating shifts. Every 12 hours these people
11 appeared, time and time and time again. Some of them knew them before the
12 conflict. Some of them knew them during the conflict. Some of them were
13 identified by the accused as, "I'm so and so." Others heard, you will
14 find, hearsay evidence from others who did know them who said, "That's so
15 and so." That is hearsay for the person. However, over a period of time,
16 if you have someone introduced to you, the inherent difficulty is that the
17 introduction is wrong.
18 But nevertheless, if you are with that person, you can identify
19 who that person is, at least in terms of the name that you had that person
20 introduced to you as. So what I'm saying there is it's not a fleeting
21 glimpse. Over a period of time they will recognise the individual and be
22 able to pick out, perhaps, which individual that they were dealing with.
23 They may be wrong about the name to be ascertained, but at least the image
24 would stand out in their recollection over that period of time.
25 As I say, our view is, with the greatest of respect, that it's a
1 matter of weight for each individual, and not a matter of admissibility,
2 per se. The witnesses I anticipate will describe the individuals that
3 they recall to the best of their recollection. Many of the descriptions
4 they gave were given in statements, which the Defence counsel have, many
5 years ago, closer to the time and the event. They often were asked, when
6 they gave their original statements, to give a general description of what
7 the person looked like.
8 Finally, this procedure that I'm familiar with has been used
9 before other Trial Chambers at this Tribunal in the Foca cases, both the
10 Kunarac, et al. and Krnojelac that is presently going on. Evidence of
11 in-court identification has been admitted. The issue of weight, of
12 course, has depended on each individual instance. In the Kunarac
13 decision, I do recall that there was some counts that were dismissed
14 because the court indicated that they placed very little probative weight
15 on certain in-court identifications, but there were other witnesses who
16 were able to testify as to how long they had seen the person over a period
17 of time. It's all a matter of weight.
18 Accordingly, our submission is that we be allowed to deal with
19 each of the witnesses, elicit the basis for their knowledge for
20 identification and be allowed to indicate if they are recognition
21 witnesses or otherwise. Again, it's a matter of weight for this Court to
22 place on. Those are my submissions.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: So all your witnesses would fall into the
24 category of persons who knew the accused before, it's a question of
25 recognition or, in any event, they would have spent a period of about two
1 months in the camp.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: With the opportunity to have observed him.
4 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes. With those people who didn't know them before
5 the war, there is the additional difficulty that they may have been told
6 the name of the individual and the person who told them could have been
7 wrong about the name. But nevertheless, they will be able to identify
8 what person they are talking about because they've seen them and seen them
9 committing certain acts that they will testify to.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: But your point really is that each witness should
11 be dealt with individually and we should approach it on a separate basis?
12 MR. RYNEVELD: That is our submission on behalf of the
13 Prosecution, yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Any reply, Mr. Greaves?
15 MR. GREAVES: There's only one issue. My learned friend hasn't
16 dealt with this issue which is one of the other more satisfactory, what I
17 submit are more satisfactory methods of conducting identification. I
18 think the simplest here is the photo board. Why those are not
19 appropriate, why the short circuit method of identifying someone in the,
20 what we submit, is the unsatisfactory conditions of court is the first
21 option, the option of choice, rather than the more satisfactory one of the
22 photo board which is one which we are familiar with here.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: In order to maximize our time, the Chamber will
1 not rule on the matter now. We'll proceed to hear the first witness, but
2 we'll stop short when we come to the question of identification.
3 MR. RYNEVELD: If I may, Your Honour, before we call the first
4 witness who would propose to be K3, there is one other issue that has to
5 be dealt with before the witness is called into the courtroom.
6 As you know, there are applications or there have been successful
7 applications for protected measures and many of the witnesses have been
8 given pseudonyms. It has come to my attention that it was anticipated
9 that with the pseudonym comes the obvious protected measure that there
10 would be facial distortion for these witnesses, otherwise a pseudonym
11 makes no sense. However, looking at some of the documentation that may
12 have been taken for some of the earlier witnesses, it wasn't specified
13 that the Prosecution was seeking the protected measure of the distortion
14 of the face. I'm not asking for voice distortions. We're asking that
15 with the pseudonym come obviously a distortion of the image for the
16 television screen, otherwise it would make no sense to simply have a
17 pseudonym issued.
18 We would ask this Court to orally, at this point, permit us to
19 have facial distortion for the television screen to further protect the
20 witness' identity.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that for all the witnesses in respect for whom
22 you are seeking protection?
23 MR. RYNEVELD: The witnesses whom have been granted the
24 pseudonyms. There are, I believe, only three that have been granted
25 closed session proceedings. I'm talking about the others.
1 There are a number of witnesses for whom there are no protected
2 measures but, unfortunately, in some of the -- there were a matter of
3 about three or four different phases of requests for protected measures
4 and some of the latter ones I believe that we did ask for facial
5 distortion, but in some of the earlier ones, that was not requested. I
6 take it my learned friends would have no objection to facial distortion
7 since it makes no sense to give a pseudonym without protecting the witness
8 in that case.
9 I understand that a facial distortion takes no time with the AV
10 people. Voice distortion does actually run into some time. They have to
11 take a voice image for each particular witness, and that takes about 10 to
12 15 minutes.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: What I'm not clear about is when the protection
14 was granted and the pseudonym was granted, are you saying that it wasn't
15 specified whether it would be in respect of facial distortion or not?
16 MR. RYNEVELD: It wasn't specified in the request. The Court
17 granted the request that was put, but the request didn't specify that with
18 the pseudonym, we were also asking for facial distortion.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: So you are now making that request?
20 MR. RYNEVELD: I am now making that request, because that's the
21 only request that makes sense.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think you would have to make it in respect of
23 each witness as the witness comes.
24 MR. RYNEVELD: That's correct. Yes, please.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any objections?
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
3 comment on what my learned friend says. As I look at the list of
4 witnesses which we received, we shall be having 23 witnesses. Only 7 of
5 them have not asked for pseudonym.
6 I do not object in principle but, as you have just said, why do we
7 not do it from case to case, that is to hear individual explanations for
8 the application for protective measures because evidently the majority of
9 testimony shall be heard under some protective measures, that will turn
10 this into its own contradiction, that is, it seems that hearing will cease
11 to be public.
12 Excessive resorts to protective measures, I'm afraid, compromises
13 the principle of public hearing. So therefore, we do not object in
14 principle to a more restrictive approach. We should like to hear, in each
15 individual case, why protective measures are sought.
16 Therefore, we do not object in principle, but we do object to the
17 application of such matters on a large scale, that only 7 of the 23 have
18 not sought to testify under protection. Thank you.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Petrovic is right in one respect. The
20 Chamber never intended to make a global grant. It will be -- each case
21 will be considered on its own merits, and the Prosecution will have to
22 make a case for it.
23 Mr. Ryneveld.
24 MR. RYNEVELD: Yes, just for clarification purposes, the witnesses
25 that I understand are affected by this, because this -- we do have actual
1 protective measures for some of the later applications. There is only
2 four affected that we did not, that's K3, the first witness, K4, K6, and
3 K13. So there are four for whom we do not have specific rulings because
4 they were done some time ago.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: And your first witness is --
6 MR. RYNEVELD: K3. So the very first witness we require -- we are
7 making an application for facial distortion.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. On what grounds?
9 MR. RYNEVELD: In order to adequately respond to that, I wonder
10 whether we should go into closed session.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, closed session.
12 [Closed session]
13 page 557 redacted close session
13 page 558 redacted close session
13 page 559 redacted close session
22 [The witness entered court]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: WITNESS A
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 MR. RYNEVELD: Mr. Registrar, could you show that to the witness,
5 please? Thank you, Your Honour. The Prosecution --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are in private [sic] session.
7 Examined by Mr. Ryneveld:
8 MR. RYNEVELD:
9 Q. Would you show the piece of paper in your hand to the witness,
10 please? First of all, witness, do you see your name on that document?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. And is that your birthday immediately behind your name?
13 A. It is.
14 Q. Just so that you know, you will now be referred to in these
15 proceedings as Witness A. Do you understand that, sir?
16 A. I do, yes.
17 MR. RYNEVELD: Might that document be marked as an exhibit in
18 these proceedings?
19 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 1.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
21 Q. Now, Witness A, I understand that you were born and raised in
22 Prijedor. Is that correct?
23 A. It is.
24 Q. And I understand, witness, that you attended school there and you
25 graduated from school in about 1971. Is that also correct?
1 A. It is.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please come closer to the
4 MR. RYNEVELD: Could you just sit a little closer to the
5 microphones so the translators can hear your voice, witness? Just move
6 the chair up. Speak into those microphones, if you would, please.
7 A. I will, yes.
8 Q. Now, witness, I understand as well that during 1972 and 1973, you
9 spent about 15 months in the army as a driver, and then after you left the
10 army, you became employed in Prijedor as a merchant. Is that also
12 A. Yes, it is correct.
13 Q. And you worked for the same company, sir, until an event that
14 occurred on the 29th of May of 1992, when your wife came to the store
15 where you were working and told you something. Do you remember that
17 A. I do, yes.
18 Q. What happened that day, sir, that changed events for you?
19 A. That day, my wife worked for Patrija, and my shop was not far from
20 Patrija. We did not have a telephone. So that my wife came around 4.00
21 in the afternoon and she said, "Come quickly, turn over the business,
22 count the money, lock the shop. We have just heard that Hambarine would
23 be shelled."
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryneveld, may I just bring to the attention
25 of the Defence counsel that one of the virtues of the witness summary is
1 that it allows the other counsel to look at it and to indicate whether it
2 objects to leading in respect of any particular paragraphs, and we proceed
3 more expeditiously that way. So you can proceed but I just want to bring
4 that to the attention of counsel on the other side, that you indicate in
5 the future if you have objections to what paragraphs you wish counsel not
6 to lead on.
7 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you. So I take it the invitation is that I
8 lead until my learned friends perhaps -- well, I appreciate myself that
9 there will be certain areas where I simply won't lead but unless my
10 friends object, I will assume that --
11 MR. GREAVES: I don't think that was Your Honour's invitation at
12 all. I have not discussed this particular summary with my learned friend
13 and I don't want him to assume on this occasion that he can lead
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: No.
16 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
17 Q. Well, sir, I understand that -- as a result of what your wife
18 said, did you go back to work?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did something happen two days later?
21 A. Two days later, while I was at home, I was arrested together with
22 my brother. They shoved us on to a bus and took us to Omarska. When we
23 arrived in Omarska, when we fetched up in front of the gate, the policeman
24 said that there was no more room in Omarska, said, "Give us four men to
25 slaughter them and take this vehicle wherever you like." But nobody got
1 off the bus. We then turned back and went to Keraterm.
2 Q. All right. That sort of is a very broad summary of what
3 occurred. I'm going to ask you to back up a little bit and fill in some
4 details, if you would. And perhaps I can address your mind to the areas
5 that I'm interested in. Now, while you were on the 31st of May, is that
6 the date that you indicate that soldiers came to your house?
7 A. Yes. It was around 4.00 in the afternoon. Around 1.00, I had
8 been called by a friend of mine, Dragan Babic and told me to put up a
9 white flag on my house, and all the members of the family should put on
10 white arm bands.
11 Q. And what was that for?
12 A. Well, as if to show our loyalty to our town, to Prijedor.
13 Q. I see. Were you -- did you know what was about to happen when you
14 received that phone call, in terms of the things that eventually did
15 happen? Were you told what to expect?
16 A. All he said was that some troops would come by, and of course I
17 couldn't even imagine, I couldn't even make a guess as to what might
19 Q. All right. Well, did troops actually come to your house in
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And how is it that you and your brother were arrested? What
24 A. We were having lunch, and I jokingly told my brother, "Well, help
25 yourself, well, it just could be of use," even though of course I had no
1 idea as to what might happen. All of a sudden I heard a bang on the door
2 and a voice shouting, "All males outside with your hands up." And this is
3 what we did.
4 Q. And did you find out where that voice was coming from? Were there
5 people, soldiers there?
6 A. They were soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms and, as I came
7 through the passage, I raised my hands. My mother was standing in the
8 courtyard and crying and saying, "Where are you taking these children?"
9 And a soldier came up to my mother, hugged her and said, "Don't worry,
10 they will just be questioned and will be back home in no time at all."
11 Q. All right. The soldiers, were they armed? Did they have
13 A. They all had automatic rifles.
14 Q. Now, sir, did you recognise any of the individuals who were
15 involved in your arrest, the arrest of you and your brother?
16 A. I knew some of those men.
17 Q. And did you know the ethnicity of the men who were involved in
18 your arrest?
19 A. They were of Serb ethnicity.
20 Q. Can you recall any of the names of the individuals who you then
22 A. There was Dragan Skoric. Cigo, the taxi driver from Omarska.
23 There was Tica. There was Uzelac, Branko Uzelac. There was -- there were
24 many. They were many.
25 Q. All right. Now, you refer to a taxi driver. Did you see any of
1 these taxi drivers -- sorry?
2 A. That was --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you repeat your answer, Witness A?
4 A. I saw a number of men. I saw Dragan Skoric. I saw Uzelac. I saw
5 Celica. I saw Cigo from Omarska, a taxi driver there. I saw Tica from
6 Omarska. I saw a man in a black uniform whose name was Joja. They were
8 Q. Did you see any of the individuals who were involved in the arrest
9 later on? You've told us that you eventually went to Keraterm. Did you
10 see any of those individuals in Keraterm?
11 A. Of them, the only one I saw was the man in black uniform, who had
12 bandoliers over his chest and everybody called him Joja. He arrived in
13 Keraterm two days later. He went into the dormitory, put down his
14 weapons, and asked, "Is there anyone from a village near Bosanski Novi?"
15 And the name of the village was -- just a moment. The name of the village
16 escapes me. Maybe it will come back to me.
17 Q. That's fine, sir.
18 A. But two men answered, two men responded.
19 Q. All right. While you were being arrested, could you hear any
20 military sounds in the distance?
21 A. Yes. I heard something like tank grenades. It is above my house,
22 about 150 to 200 metres above my house.
23 Q. And did you find out what caused -- or what resulted from those
24 sounds of the tank grenades that you heard?
25 A. The result of these shells were that they hit a house with about
1 eight to nine people in it. They were all killed. And the hodza was
2 allowed to bury them. From what I heard after I came out of the camp,
3 that hodza took photographs of it all and he supposedly has pictures of
4 the crime.
5 Q. Just so that I'm clear, sir, when you talk about a hodza is that a
6 Muslim priest?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I see. All right. Now, sir, you've told us about you and your
9 brother being arrested at your home.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How were you in fact dealt with once you were arrested by the
12 soldiers? What happened to you?
13 A. They told us to put our hands behind our heads, to put our heads
14 down, and to walk towards buses that were parked there. When we reached
15 the buses, the driver was already in his seat and there was a soldier. He
16 took our rings, our change that we had, money, cigarettes, everything that
17 we had in our pockets.
18 Q. And what happened after that, sir, after all your possessions were
19 taken away from you?
20 A. After that, he would not allow us to take seats in the bus so we
21 had to sit on the floor. And the man in the black uniform, whose name was
22 Joja then boarded the bus and asked us why we were sitting on the floor of
23 the bus, why weren't we sitting in the seats? And we answered that it was
24 that soldier who had ordered us to sit like that. Then (redacted)
25 [phoen] whom I know very well, [redacted], who also came on board
1 the bus and took out 200 marks. When the man in the black uniform saw him
2 robbing us, he hit him forcefully, he gave this money back to Muhamed and
3 the rest of the money he took as evidence and put in the boot of a parked
4 Mercedes and he took a driver and that guy, the soldier, put them in the
5 Mercedes and told them to drive to the barracks.
6 Q. All right. Now, sir, while you were put on the bus, were you
7 personally beaten?
8 A. I personally was not, but I saw it with my own eyes how they
9 ill-treated and beat my neighbour, Hasan.
10 Q. Now, so just so that I've got it clear, you and your brother and
11 about how many other men are on these buses at this point, at -- in
12 Prijedor near your home at Donja Puharska?
13 A. There were about 50 or maybe 60 of us in that bus.
14 Q. How many buses were there?
15 A. As far as I could see, there were six of them. Not all the buses
16 were parked in the same place. My bus, that is there were two of them,
17 and they were at the cross roads in Donja Puharska, and the buses were
18 parked by the mosque and there was a third group of buses in Orlakica Soka
20 Q. Now, the buses that you and your brother got on, those were parked
21 close to your house, is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Well, the buses took off, I understand, sir, and I understand that
24 you were brought to Omarska, and as you did that, you passed through the
25 village of Kozarac. Is that correct?
1 A. It is correct, yes.
2 Q. On your way through Kozarac on the 31st of May on the way to
3 Omarska, what, if anything, did you see?
4 A. I saw many killed people, killed livestock, cows, horses, and I
5 even saw something that I shall never forget, that I shall never forget, a
6 man who was placed -- killed a man who was placed as a scarecrow next to
7 the -- by the road. There were many killed people. The houses were still
8 burning. They were still smoking. There were houses which were intact
9 but those were the houses that belonged to Serbs.
10 Q. You eventually arrived at Omarska; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I believe you told us early in your summary that you arrived at
13 Omarska and you were told that there was no room at that camp for you and
14 that that policeman said something to the driver; what was that?
15 A. Yes. He said to the driver, "Give me four to slaughter them and
16 the rest of them take them where you like."
17 Q. Well, what happened to your bus --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryneveld, I'm sorry to interrupt you. We
19 will, with the indulgence of the interpreters, continue up to 4.15.
20 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
21 Q. You left Omarska and you took -- you went somewhere and I'm going
22 to lead here. I understand you eventually ended up at Keraterm; is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And when your bus arrived at Keraterm, sir, where did you -- where
1 do you arrive? Was there a location at Keraterm?
2 A. Yes. We entered the Keraterm compound and when we arrived, the
3 order came to get off, stand by the wall, face the wall, and put your
4 hands against the wall and spread your legs, spread your feet. I did
5 that, and a soldier then came up and hit me on the head, cursed me, and
6 said, "How do you hold your hands?" And I said, "Well, against the wall,
7 as you said." He said, "No, only with three fingers."
8 Q. And I may have missed it, but did you say he did something to you
9 when you did it with five fingers?
10 MR. VUCICEVIC: Your Honours, at this moment, I would like to
11 object, this is asked and answered. The first time I passed it because
12 when there were invitation for a slaughter of some civilians, but this is
13 second time that he is asking witness to repeat previous testimony.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understood him to be seeking a clarification as
15 to testimony that had been given by the witness.
16 Yes, Mr. Ryneveld.
17 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you.
18 Q. Do you understand my question, sir. You told us you got
19 instructions about using three fingers instead of five fingers. In
20 addition to getting instructions, did anything else happen to you?
21 A. Yes. When I had put my hands against the wall, not knowing that I
22 should do it with three fingers, I had my whole palms of my hand against
23 the wall, and he hit me on the back of my head and said, "How are your
24 hands three fingers? That was the order, three fingers only."
25 Q. Now, sir, when you arrived at Keraterm, are you able to recall
1 whether you then knew any of the people that were at Keraterm when you
3 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Can you tell us, sir, who, if anyone, that you may have
6 A. I knew Tomica, Dragan, Kole, Civerica, brothers Banovic and a
7 number of others.
8 Q. So those people were there upon your arrival; is that correct,
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. About what time of the day was that?
12 A. It was around half past 5.00 or 6.00 in the afternoon.
13 Q. After you were told to lean against the wall, did anything else
14 happen with respect to you and the other prisoners in terms of any
15 documents you may have had on you?
16 A. As we were leaning with our hands against the wall, they searched
17 us and everything, our ID cards, and driver's licences, and passports, all
18 these were taken and destroyed.
19 Q. What happened to you after you were searched and had your
20 documents taken away?
21 A. Then we were told to enter a room with a very narrow door and, as
22 we were going in, there was a soldier next to the door and struck each one
23 of us with his rifle on the back. But I was lucky, I passed through very
24 quickly so that I missed the blow.
25 Q. Do you remember the room number you were placed in?
1 A. Room 2.
2 Q. Did you stay in Room 2 during your entire stay in Keraterm?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Where did you go after some time?
5 A. I moved to Room 1. All those who were taken for interrogation
6 from Room 2, after the interrogation, they would be taken to Room 1.
7 Q. Your brother, [redacted], was he also with you in Room 2 at first?
8 A. He was, yes. We were all. All of us who arrived in Keraterm, we
9 were all in Room 2. We were the first to be arrested.
10 Q. Now, sir, this Room 2, do you remember approximately how large
11 that room was?
12 A. Well, it was larger than any other room in Keraterm. Later on
13 there were between 550 to 580 people in it.
14 Q. If you were to describe for this Court the approximate size of
15 that room in terms of say this courtroom, would it be bigger than this
16 courtroom? If so, how many times bigger? If smaller, how much smaller?
17 Can you look around this courtroom and give the Court some idea of the
18 size of Room 2?
19 A. Yes, of course. From that corner to the middle, and it could have
20 been some 15 metres long. And on the side where I was the first time,
21 there were iron bars and one could see parts of some vehicles or some
22 machines, that is, they were wrecks or something or shelves and those
23 parts were on those shelves.
24 Q. The length of the room, if you were sitting where you were now and
25 you are looking towards where Their Honours are, you've told us that it
1 was about 15 metres wide. The distance between you and the Judges, are
2 you able to give us an estimate of how long that is or ...
3 A. Not 15 metres wide. Long, I think, 15 metres long. It was like
4 entering a tunnel. You could not see the far corner, but it was narrow.
5 It could have been 6 to 8 metres wide.
6 Q. 6 to 8 metres wide and in terms of the total size of this
7 courtroom, would you say that the total area was bigger or smaller or
8 about the same as this courtroom. Are you able to say?
9 A. Well, perhaps it was slightly, slightly larger. Slightly.
10 Q. All right. When you were moved to Room 1, that would be -- was
11 that as large as Room 2?
12 A. No, it was smaller.
13 Q. Are you able to give the Court an assessment in terms of the size
14 of, again, this courtroom, how large Room 1 was in comparison to this
15 courtroom you are now sitting in?
16 A. What I can say is that it was about 12 times 4 metres, 4 wide. So
17 three pallets could fit in and they were 1.1, metre and a half, and three
18 of these wooden pallets could fit.
19 Q. Let me rephrase my question slightly. I understand you've told us
20 in terms of pallets and metres. In terms of the size of this courtroom,
21 would Room 1 be larger than, smaller than or about the same as this
23 A. Well, about this courtroom, perhaps slightly narrower, perhaps
24 slightly narrower.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryneveld, we'll have to get some information
1 on the size of this courtroom.
2 MR. RYNEVELD: Absolutely. I just thought I -- I'm not done with
3 the witness and other witnesses will, in fact, be providing some
5 Q. How long were you in Room 2 before you went to Room 1?
6 A. In Room 2, I was there some 11 or 12 days.
7 Q. Sir, while you were at Keraterm, do you know how many shifts there
9 A. There were three shifts.
10 Q. Do you know if and when they changed and, if so, at what time?
11 A. I do know. In the morning, from 6.00 in the morning until 6.00 in
12 the afternoon.
13 Q. And do you know the order of the shifts?
14 A. Well, I wouldn't really know the order, but I should say it was
15 Fustar's shift first, then Kole's shift, and then Kajin's shift.
16 Q. Do you remember who any of the guards were on those respective
17 shifts, for example, do you know who was on Kole's shift?
18 A. I know Batan. He was Kole's deputy. I know him. And then Dugi,
19 I couldn't give you any other names because whoever had a uniform could
20 enter the compound.
21 Q. Let's talk about Room 1 something further. When you were in Room
22 1 after 11 or 12 days in Room 2, can you tell us how many men would be
23 housed in Room 1?
24 A. In that room there were about 30 to 40 men when I came there, but
25 a much larger number of men had been interrogated, because some people
1 allegedly went home. And all of a sudden, an order came that nobody was
2 to move anywhere and then some of those same people were caught again and
3 brought back to the camp.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Ryneveld, will you find a convenient time.
5 MR. RYNEVELD: Thank you, Your Honour. Do you want to stop now or
6 just finish, perhaps, paragraph 9 and stop at that point?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Have you started paragraph 9?
8 MR. RYNEVELD: I have -- I was about to, yes, I sort of have.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I think we have done 15 minutes with the
10 indulgence of the interpreters, and we shouldn't trespass further.
11 MR. RYNEVELD: I'll continue with paragraph 9 tomorrow.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We'll take the adjournment now
13 until --
14 MR. GREAVES: Just with Your Honours' indulgence, I raised at a
15 Status Conference the issue of communication by counsel with the witness
16 after the oath has been taken and evidence has begun. I don't think we
17 have arrived at a definitive position. May we know what Your Honours
18 would wish us to do? I would urge that there be no communication save
19 with the leave of the Court after the oath has been taken.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that's the procedure. Witness A, you are
21 not to speak to anybody about your evidence, and that includes the counsel
22 for the Prosecution. Thank you.
23 We adjourn, 9.30 tomorrow.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
25 at 4.15 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday
1 the 20th day of March, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.