1 Tuesday, 23 October 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Examination-in-chief by the
7 Prosecution continuing.
8 MS. REIDY: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 WITNESS: HASAN BICIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Examined by Ms. Reidy: [Continued]
12 Q. Mr. Bicic, at the close of yesterday's session you had begun to
13 describe a number of beatings that you received whilst you were detained
14 in the gymnasium of the primary school and you had testified to the
15 Chamber that you had been beaten once by Mr. Milan Simic, and it's this
16 incident that I'd like to concentrate on this morning.
17 Could you explain to us the circumstances in which Mr. Milan Simic
18 beat you? Did he himself come to the gym in the primary school?
19 A. No, he didn't come with me.
20 Q. But did he himself ever come to visit at the gym in the primary
22 A. As far as I know, that was the first time.
23 Q. And how did you know that he had come to visit at the primary
25 A. One evening - I don't know what time it was - we heard some noise
1 and some shouting, and we were ordered to start singing the Chetnik
2 songs. At that moment, in the hall in which we were in, a number of
3 people came in and they started beating us, in order. At one particular
4 moment, somebody started to call out the names of people who were supposed
5 to go out. When I say "out," I mean out into the corridor, towards the
6 changing rooms attached to the gym of the primary school.
7 Q. So I take it -- well, names were being called out. Was your name
8 amongst those ones -- amongst the names?
9 A. Yes, it was.
10 Q. So when you went out into the corridor towards the changing room,
11 what happened to you?
12 A. They called some others out as well, some other prisoners. My
13 brother Muhamed was among them, Ibrahim Salkic was another, Perica Misic,
14 and others. But that first time they called four or five of us out.
15 Q. Thank you. So the four or five of you who were called out, what
16 happened to you?
17 A. We went off towards the changing room, and in the corridor, that
18 is to say, as you come out of the gym, I saw Mr. Simic, and he appeared to
19 me to be slightly tipsy. He seemed to be just about to cry. And then he
20 turned to me and addressed me. He said -- that is, he accused me of my
21 people killing -- having killed his best friend, a roommate of his while
22 they were students. I think his surname was Smiljanic. And I think I
23 knew him too, because he worked in the municipality, the incomes
24 department or somewhere like that, but he was a municipality inspector.
25 When he told me this, I asked him which people. "Which of my
1 people are you referring to?" And he said, "The Muslims." I tried to
2 tell him that I had nothing to do with any of that. And then later on, I
3 heard that Smiljanic had really been killed in an attack on a Croatian
4 village called Kornica [Realtime transcript read in error "Konjic"] or
5 maybe it was Gradacac. I'm not sure, but in that region anyway.
6 Q. So you told him that you really had --
7 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: There is a problem in the transcript. It says
10 Konjic. The Croatian village of Kornica, not Konjic. Kornica is a town
11 in -- Kornica is K-o-r-n-i-c-a.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Kornica. Thank you. Yes.
13 The Prosecution can confirm with the witness whether that is the
14 village he meant, the name, the correct name.
15 MS. REIDY:
16 Q. Mr. Bicic, if you can help us clarify the record. The Croatian
17 village you mentioned, can you repeat its name for us, and even perhaps
18 maybe if you could even spell it just to make sure we're absolutely clear
19 on it.
20 A. There must have been a mistake, because I said and had Kornica in
21 mind and not Konjic. And Kornica is a village which is about 10
22 kilometres away from our own town and I know it well. So the name I said
23 was Kornica. That was what I meant.
24 Q. Thank you very much. After you tried to tell Mr. Simic that you
25 had nothing to do with that, was that the end of the matter? Did he let
1 you then go back into the gymnasium?
2 A. No, I don't know what he did at that particular moment, what he
3 was doing, but when we ended this brief dialogue, they started to beat us
4 in that area where we were in, and I think it was -- it was the passageway
5 towards the toilet.
6 Q. You said they began to beat you. Could you tell us, how did they
7 beat you, with kicks or did they use instruments?
8 A. They started -- people started beating us who were with Mr Simic.
9 I don't know how many of them there were, but they started beating us with
10 their own weapons, whether rifles or whatever, because it was getting
11 rather dark at this time. I know that we fell down, and when we fell on
12 the floor, they kicked us with their legs so that we had to get up.
13 What can I say? We were beaten a lot.
14 Q. Were you beaten -- whereupon your body were you beaten?
15 A. It was haphazard. All over, on our heads, all over our bodies.
16 And when we were down, it depended where the kick landed. Usually they
17 aimed at the head, but they weren't fussy.
18 Q. Can you recall whether Milan Simic himself personally hit you or
19 did anything else to you?
20 A. At that particular moment, I can't say who beat me. All of them
21 who were there, who had accompanied him, whether they were his bodyguards
22 or escort or whatever. And I heard that they referred to the gentleman as
23 "president." They called him president. I don't know which president,
24 but I knew that they were addressing Mr. Simic. And afterwards, we were
25 ordered, that is to say I was and my brother was, and I think Salkic too,
1 I'm not sure whether they ordered Perica Misic as well, but anyway, they
2 said that we had to get up if we were not already standing and that they
3 should line up in front of Mr. Simic. The escorts ordered us this, to
4 place our hands behind our backs and to stand with our legs apart.
5 Q. And if you -- if you did what they said, what happened after you'd
6 complied with their instructions?
7 A. Of course we had to do what they had ordered. And I know that
8 Mr. Simic started hitting me in the area of my genitals. I fell down from
9 each blow. I was ordered to get up immediately and to stand to attention
10 the way I had been so that the president could have a clear target.
11 Q. Were these blows accompanied by any other threats or any
12 utterances or were they carried out in silence?
13 A. I don't know what the gentleman was saying at that particular
14 moment, but I did hear one of the escorts who issued orders to us and who
15 had beaten us previously, who told us to stand the way we had to stand,
16 anyway, I heard one of them say something along the lines of, "You should
17 target properly so that they can no longer make any balija children." It
18 wasn't Mr. Simic who said that but one of his escorts.
19 Q. You said that --
20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Ms. Reidy.
21 Mr. Bicic, what did Mr. Simic hit you with?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic hit me I think only with
23 his leg. He kicked me in the genitals. Or, rather, his boot.
24 MS. REIDY:
25 Q. You just said that Mr. Simic kicked you in the genitals. Was he
1 armed at the time?
2 A. Yes. I think he had an automatic pistol or a Scorpio [sic].
3 Q. How do you know that he had an automatic pistol or a Scorpio
4 [sic]? Did you see it with your own eyes?
5 A. Yes. He was standing opposite me, 1 or 2 metres away. I don't
6 know how far away actually.
7 Q. At any stage did he use his pistol or Scorpio [sic]?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me again. Could you tell us, Mr. Bicic
10 what is a Scorpio [sic]? I'm assuming it's a weapon of some kind, but I
11 haven't heard of the name before.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A Scorpion, in fact --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: With an N.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- is a small type of automatic
15 weapon or an automatic pistol. Perhaps that would be a better name for
16 it. You can use it for a burst of gunfire or for individual gunshots.
17 MS. REIDY:
18 Q. Thank you for that clarification. This Scorpion which you've just
19 described to us, did Mr. Simic ever use it?
20 A. Yes. Mr. Simic, at one moment, shot above my head.
21 Q. Can you tell us whether -- or how Mr. Simic was dressed? Was he
22 in a uniform, in civilian clothes?
23 A. He was wearing a military uniform.
24 Q. And you said he came with a number of either bodyguards or
25 escorts. Were those persons in military uniform or in civilian clothing?
1 A. I think they were all in military uniforms.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel.
3 Witness, about how many were they, the group that Mr. Simic came
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That time there were at least five
6 or six of them. I can't give you an exact number.
7 MS. REIDY:
8 Q. You testified how you were kicked in the genitals. Do you know
9 whether any of the other people you've mentioned received similar
10 treatment to you?
11 A. Yes. I've already said that at that particular moment, when they
12 were beating me, my brother and Ibrahim Salkic had to stand there too, and
13 they were beaten in similar fashion.
14 Q. You've mentioned Mr. Milan Simic by name. Did you know any of the
15 other people who were escorting him or were acting as his bodyguards?
16 A. I didn't know anybody personally, and I can't remember who those
17 people were now. But quite obviously, they were with him, his escorts,
18 and I heard them address him as "president" on several occasions.
19 MS. REIDY: Thank you.
20 Could I ask the usher to show the witness photographs 64, 57, and
21 58 from Prosecutor Exhibit 14A, and perhaps you could place number 64 on
22 the ELMO.
23 Q. Mr. Bicic, if you can see what is now being depicted on the screen
24 in front of you, do you recognise this room or building?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And could you tell us where it is?
2 A. That's the changing room belonging to the gymnasium of the primary
4 Q. Do I understand it was in and around this changing room that this
5 beating took place, or was it another location?
6 A. It wasn't in that room. In this room - and I can indicate that
7 for you - the wall is missing which used to be there, and the door too, so
8 that's where that was. This is where the wall was and this is where the
9 door was, and this was the entrance to the changing room. There were
10 metal bars on this window here. And I know the surrounding area very
11 well. This is the basketball playing ground here and the football field
12 was to the left. So they didn't actually beat us in the changing room but
13 in the passageway here, going towards the toilet.
14 MS. REIDY: Thank you very much.
15 Could I ask whether photograph number 57 could be placed on the
17 Q. Again, Mr. Bicic, do you recognise the area that's portrayed in
18 this photograph?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Could you, for the record and for the Chamber, explain to us what
21 is depicted in this photograph.
22 A. It depicts the corridor, the entrance to the gymnasium, and this
23 was the door of the gymnasium and that's the hall we were in.
24 MS. REIDY: Thank you very much.
25 Finally, if you could place photograph number 58 on the ELMO.
1 Q. Mr. Bicic, I can see it's a door. If you could tell us whether
2 you recognise the door, and if so, what you know about it.
3 A. Can you zoom back a bit? The door doesn't tell me a great deal,
4 but I think it's the entrance from outside, from the courtyard inside, and
5 the corridor of the -- leading to the gym.
6 Q. So do I understand that, if you're correct, you're saying this is
7 the entrance that links what we saw in the other photographs portrayed
8 from inside the building?
9 A. Yes.
10 MS. REIDY: Thank you. I'm finished with the photographs.
11 Q. Mr. Bicic, could you estimate how long you were out in the
12 corridor undergoing this beating?
13 A. It's difficult for me to say exactly, but I think it went on for
14 about 20 minutes. That would be my approximation.
15 Q. Thank you. And after this 20 minutes, what happened to you then?
16 A. I've already said that as far as I was concerned, the peak was
17 reached when this shot was fired above my head, and after that we were
18 ordered to go back to our places. Other people were taken out. What
19 happened to them, I don't know. All I know is that I heard them beating
20 others too; that is to say, I deduced this from the screams and groans. I
21 realised that they were beating other prisoners.
22 Q. You say other people were taken out. Can you recall now any -- if
23 you remember any of the names or if you know who else might have gone out?
24 A. I've already mentioned some names. I think that afterwards they
25 took several, at least several prisoners out, and I think that one of them
1 was most certainly Safet Hadzialijagic, nicknamed Coner.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you see Mr. Milan Simic on any other occasion
3 whilst you were detained in the gym of the primary school?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was this before or after the beating you've described to us?
6 A. It was after the beating.
7 Q. Roughly how long after this beating?
8 A. Approximately a week later.
9 Q. And what took place at this meeting, or did Mr. Simic come into
10 the gymnasium to talk to you, or what happened?
11 A. Well, it was similar but not so bad. Some people burst into the
12 room where we were. We were ordered to sing, which meant we had to stand
13 up quickly and sing in unison, sing those Chetnik songs.
14 Q. And again, after you sang the Chetnik songs, did Mr. Simic come
15 into the room or, like the last time, were your names called out?
16 A. He didn't come in, but they called out my name and the name of
17 Perica Misic. They called us out.
18 Q. Can I clarify? Is this Perica Misic the same person who was
19 called out with you when you went to the corridor to be beaten?
20 A. Yes. Yes, it was the same person.
21 Q. The persons who called out your names were -- who were they? Were
22 they guards or people from -- who weren't normally in the prison or in the
23 primary school?
24 A. I can't remember exactly who it was who called out Perica Misic's
25 name and mine, whether it was the regular guards - I'm referring to the
1 police that guarded us - or if it was someone from Mr. Simic's escort, but
2 Perica Misic and I went out very quickly. When I say "out," I mean out
3 into the corridor of the gym.
4 Q. Thank you. And when you went out into the corridor of the gym,
5 what happened to you?
6 A. I saw Mr Simic again.
7 Q. Did he address you personally?
8 A. Yes, he addressed me, but this time he was very polite. By this I
9 mean that he didn't threaten me. I think he was sober. He said he had
10 come for Perica Misic and me and that we were to go for a brief interview
11 in his office.
12 Q. Did you indeed go for a brief interview in his office?
13 A. Yes. At that moment, he said his car was parked outside the gym
14 and that Perica Misic and I should wait for him next to his car and he
15 would be with us in a moment, and we did what he said.
16 Q. Did anyone try to stop you leaving the primary school gym?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So after you went to wait beside the car, could you then tell
19 us -- continue and tell us what happened?
20 A. We went out and waited for Mr. Simic and his escort. In my
21 estimation, we waited for between five and ten minutes, and then he turned
22 up with the man accompanying him, and he told him to drive in the
23 direction of the municipality.
24 Q. And could you clarify? When you say "the direction of the
25 municipality," is that a location or a building?
1 A. I'm referring to the building of the municipal assembly.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you go then directly to the building of the
3 municipal assembly?
4 A. No, we didn't.
5 Q. Where did you go instead?
6 A. Mr. Simic asked me, I can say quite kindly, whether I wished to
7 see my house, and I said yes. Then he told the driver to drive in the
8 direction of my house.
9 Q. Do I take it that you went to your house? What happened when you
10 drove up to your house?
11 A. Driving toward my house, about a hundred metres away from my
12 house, when we were passing by my catering establishment, we saw from the
13 car Mr. Pisarevic, Mr. Borislav Pisarevic. At that moment, Mr. Simic
14 asked me, probably knowing that I knew Mr. Pisarevic, whether I wished to
15 say hello to him, and I said yes. He told the driver to stop, we got out
16 of the car, and I said hello to Mr. Pisarevic very warmly. And this did
17 not last long. We returned to the car and drove to my house.
18 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us roughly what time of the day was
19 this all taking place at?
20 A. This was happening at night. In any case, it was after midnight.
21 Q. Thank you. Could you give us some idea of what you would have
22 looked like at this moment? For example, you said yesterday that at one
23 stage you caught a reflection of yourself in the mirror and you were
24 unrecognisable. Was this before or after this outing to your house?
25 A. Right now, I couldn't answer this question with any certainty, but
1 in any case, my clothes and especially my shoes were bloodstained. There
2 was a lot of blood on them. I'm not referring to fresh blood, but the
3 numerous beatings I had gone through before.
4 Q. Was the blood and bits of skull you described which fell on your
5 clothes when Dikan was being killed, would they still have been -- were
6 they the same clothes you were wearing?
7 A. Yes. Yes, the same clothes.
8 Q. You said after you spoke with Mr. Pisarevic that you then drove to
9 your house. Did you then enter your house or did you just stop outside
11 A. I went in.
12 Q. And what did you do when you went inside?
13 A. Mr. Simic asked me whether I wished to see the inside of the
14 house, and I said yes. And I asked him, if I managed to find some things
15 that had not been taken away, whether I could change, change my clothes,
16 and he said, "Yes, of course," but I shouldn't stay there too long and
17 that I shouldn't tell anyone that he had allowed me to do this. Then
18 either he or his driver, they gave me a flashlight with which I entered my
19 house. Perica Misic stayed in the car.
20 Q. And when you entered your house, what did you see?
21 A. I was shocked. The place had been ransacked, looted, smashed up.
22 When I went upstairs, all the doors were open. At one point, I shone the
23 flashlight into my mother's room. She used to have a leather-covered
24 couch in her room, and this had been ripped up, probably by various
25 visitors looking for valuables.
1 I didn't linger there. I went to my room, the room where I kept
2 my clothes. Everything had been thrown about. Nothing was in its place.
3 A lot of things were missing, as far as I could see at first glance. And
4 then I stood there for a short time considering what I should take with
6 Q. What did you take with you?
7 A. In the end, I only changed my shoes, which were covered with
9 Q. And after you changed your shoes, what did you do?
10 A. I returned to the car, got in, and returned the flashlight.
11 Q. And where did you then proceed to?
12 A. Mr. Simic told the driver to drive to the municipal assembly
14 Q. I take it that the driver did then drive to the municipal assembly
15 building, and what happened when you arrived?
16 A. Mr. Simic was very tolerant and kind that evening, and he
17 suggested we should go to his office for an interview. So we went to his
19 Q. And did he interview you in the office?
20 A. No. He didn't question us at all. It was rather a friendly
22 Q. Is that all that happened, you had a friendly chat, or ...
23 A. I'll describe it briefly. We went into his spacious and
24 beautifully furnished office. It had very nice furniture. We sat down at
25 the table and he told the man escorting him to bring us something to eat
1 and drink.
2 Our conversation was approximately as follows: Addressing both me
3 and Perica Misic, Milan apologised for what had happened seven days ago
4 and told us he had been in a very bad situation, that we should understand
5 him and try to understand what it was like when one lost one's best
6 friend. Of course, at that moment we accepted his apology. And later on,
7 Mr. Simic said to me that there was something else that was important and
8 that he wanted to tell me that evening, and that was that they in the
9 Crisis Staff - he was referring to the Crisis Staff - had decided that my
10 brother and I were to be exchanged. This news made me very happy and gave
11 me hope that we would survive.
12 After that, we had something to eat and drink. I think we drank
13 beer. Milan chatted to Perica Misic, and we stayed there almost until
14 daybreak, in some sort of informal, we might say, friendly conversation.
15 And in the early morning hours, Mr. Simic and his driver or escort took us
16 back to the gym in the primary school.
17 Q. Thank you. When you returned, then, to the gym of the primary
18 school, did you go back into the room where all the other detainees were?
19 A. We arrived to the front of the gym in the car. Mr. Simic then
20 suggested to me that, if I wanted, I could take a few cartons of
21 cigarettes from the boot of the car we had arrived in. I can tell you, I
22 wasn't very modest. There were about six cartons, each containing ten
23 packets of cigarettes, in the boot of the car. I looked at Simic and he
24 gave me a look indicating that I could take as much as I wanted, that I
25 could help myself. Since we were very short of cigarettes at the time and
1 cigarettes represented a fortune, I took four cartons, which means there
2 were 40 packs.
3 So when I re-entered the gym, my brother was very worried about
4 me. He was almost crying, because he didn't know where we had been taken,
5 and he had been in great fear until dawn, not knowing where we were and
6 what was happening to us. And when I returned, he cried for joy. This
7 was an understandable reaction, because he had been very worried. He
8 thought something terrible might have happened to us. I told him briefly
9 that everything was all right. I distributed the packets of cigarettes.
10 I gave one to each person, more or less. And I couldn't wait long to tell
11 my brother the most joyful news. From the moment we had been arrested,
12 this was the best news we had had, and that was that Mr. Simic had told me
13 that it had been decided the two of us should be exchanged.
14 I wish to mention that when we were talking in Mr. Simic's office,
15 he discreetly mentioned to me that at the Crisis Staff they had decided
16 that my brother and I should not be exchanged at the same time but that we
17 should be exchanged separately, and I asked him to use his influence and
18 authority to prevent my brother and I from being separated. And he told
19 me he would do his best, but he told me right away that it would be
20 difficult because a definite decision had already been reached at the
21 Crisis Staff.
22 I told my brother all this that morning, and we were both happy
23 and sad at the same time, because there was a possibility that one of us
24 would be exchanged before the other and the other would have to stay
1 Q. Thank you very much. When Mr. Simic was giving you this
2 information about the exchange, did he ever enlighten you as to his
3 relationship to the Crisis Staff or why on a previous occasion people had
4 been calling him "Mr. President"?
5 A. In that informal chat in his office, he told us in a discreet way,
6 not as if he was boasting about it, that he was the president of the
7 Executive Council of the Municipal Assembly, and we didn't talk about the
8 Crisis Staff at all.
9 Q. Thank you very much. I'm going to take you back now to the
10 primary school, when you had been returned and you've told your brother
11 news about the exchanges. How long more did you remain in the primary
12 school after this evening, or after that evening?
13 A. In my estimation, about three weeks passed before I was exchanged.
14 Q. In those three weeks, were you left alone or did the beatings
15 you've described previously continue?
16 A. The beatings continued as before. Perhaps sometimes they were
17 even worse.
18 Q. Who would be beating you?
19 A. Apart from the regular beaters, that is, Todorovic and his escort,
20 there were also others who came. There was a certain Rade from Novi Sad
21 who was especially brutal. He maltreated us terribly. Apart from beating
22 us brutally, he maltreated us terribly.
23 Q. How exactly did he maltreat you?
24 A. Well, for example, at one point he ordered my brother to beat me,
25 and then he ordered me to beat my brother, and then he ordered our good
1 friend Ibrahim Salkic to beat my brother and then me. And he enjoyed our
2 boxing matches.
3 At first I tried to only pretend that I was beating my brother. I
4 tried to hit him in the head so that only the sound would be bad, but when
5 I did that, I would immediately be hit on the head with a rifle. I would
6 be hit so hard that I would fall down on the floor. And they would say,
7 "Don't try to pretend."
8 Apart from this, this Rade from Novi Sad, I have already said that
9 he was a very cruel man and he was a frequent visitor, he had various
10 methods of torture. On one occasion, he hit me a few times with his rifle
11 butt. He hit me in the head so that I fell down, and then he stood on my
12 chest - he was wearing a military uniform and military boots - and then he
13 jumped up and down all over my body. He jumped up into the air and landed
14 on my chest, my stomach, and my ribs, in his boots.
15 Q. Did you sustain any injuries as a result of this beating or other
17 A. I think that the consequences of that beating were that I suffered
18 several injuries, that is to say, on my left-hand side my ribs were
19 broken, fractured. And then with the baseball bat they broke my fingers.
20 The young guy nicknamed Cera - his real name was Nebojsa - had already
21 broken my fingers in the Territorial Defence, but they were injured
23 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you testified that you were exchanged at the
24 beginning of July. Could you tell us how you came to learn the day that
25 you were to be exchanged?
1 A. I didn't know that up until the very day of the exchange itself.
2 Q. So on the day of the exchange, what happened?
3 A. On the day of the exchange, a man came in. I think he was wearing
4 a police uniform. And he had a list with him, and he started out reading
5 some names from that list. Among those names was my own. My brother's
6 name was not on the list.
7 Q. So after the names were called out, what happened? Were you taken
8 out of the room, were you made separate inside the room from the others,
9 or what exactly happened?
10 A. At that point when my name was read out, I did not even have a few
11 seconds to say goodbye to my brother, because the people in uniform began
12 to beat me straight away. They beat me for about ten minutes with their
13 rifles. They kicked me with their legs. They were very brutal. And
14 during those beatings, I felt that they were breaking my ribs all over
15 again. And they just stomped on me. I was lying down and they stomped on
16 me. And my brother had to watch all this. That was by way of a goodbye,
17 a farewell.
18 Q. After they had beaten you, did they then remove you from the
20 A. Yes. Some of the prisoners who were going for the exchange and
21 who hadn't been beaten that badly helped me. They helped take me to the
22 place where they were supposed to go, where they were organising the
24 Q. Do I understand that you had difficulty in walking after the
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So where did the other prisoners help you go to? Was it to the
3 exchange itself, to a bus, to another building?
4 A. They helped me go to the place where the exchange was to take
5 place. They helped me to the bus which was parked on a plateau between
6 the two halls, that is to say, the gymnasium attached to the primary
7 school and the secondary school centre.
8 I saw three buses there, big ones, and I think there were two
9 kombi vans as well. They were mostly full of people.
10 Q. What sort of people? Were they soldiers, civilians?
11 A. When I boarded one of the buses, I saw that the people there were
12 mostly fairly old people, men and women, and that there were quite a lot
13 of women with children. I didn't see anybody in uniform, of the prisoners
14 or anybody like that going to be exchanged.
15 Q. Did you know where these women and children were from?
16 A. I knew most of them by sight. Some of them were from our town,
17 that is to say, from Bosanski Samac, but most of them were from the
18 surrounding villages. So they were Croats, in fact. They were from the
19 Croatian villages.
20 Q. How many -- you were one of the people who went to the buses. How
21 many from the primary school actually went on the buses to be exchanged?
22 A. I can't be sure, but I think there were about ten.
23 Q. I take it that the -- I think you said three buses and two kombi
24 vans, that they were full of the people from the surrounding villages and
25 only ten prisoners went to join them.
1 A. When I said "ten," I meant the people from my group. As to the
2 other prisoners from other places or from other prisons, I can't say. I
3 can't give you an answer to that. I don't know how many of them there
4 were or whether they were --
5 Q. But on your bus, is it correct that there were a significant
6 number of elderly people and women and children?
7 A. Yes. The bus was full. My bus was full, just like the others.
8 Q. Thank you. When you were getting on the buses, you said there was
9 somebody who had called out your name from a list. Was there anybody else
10 around who seemed to be in charge of the people who were on the buses?
11 A. Yes, I did see some.
12 Q. Did you know any of these people who were organising the buses and
13 the people?
14 A. Yes, I did know some of those people.
15 Q. Were any of the defendants among them?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you indicate which of the defendants were amongst them?
18 A. I remember seeing Mr. Tadic, Miroslav Tadic, with some lists of
19 some kind, and I saw them asking him about the exchange and the whole
20 organisation. I think he was in charge of the exchange, actually.
21 Q. Thank you. You said, "I saw them asking him." Who do you mean
22 when you say "them"?
23 A. I don't understand your question.
24 Q. It's just -- you said that you saw them -- "I saw them asking him
25 about the exchange," and my question is: Who was it who was asking
1 Miroslav Tadic about the exchange? Who does the "them" refer to?
2 A. Well, I don't really know who actually asked him something in
3 particular, but everybody seemed to be asking him things, and I saw that
4 he had lists with him, so I assumed that he was in the organisation for
5 this exchange in one way or another.
6 Q. Thank you. Did you yourself ask him anything?
7 A. I wasn't in a position to at that particular moment. That is to
8 say, my friends had advised me that as I had been so beaten
9 up -- actually, the people who beat me just prior to the exchange, they
10 kept swearing at that policeman, cursing him, who read my name out of the
11 list for the exchange. They told him that there was absolutely no chance
12 that I would be exchanged alive, that I would still be living. They -- I
13 think they said this to him while they were beating me just before the
14 actual exchange. So that they advised me that as soon as my name was read
15 out from the list, I was to board the bus and to try and find a seat
16 somewhere where I wouldn't be seen from outside. I myself felt the need
17 to sort of hide, kept a low profile, because I was afraid that Todorovic
18 might turn up, or someone like him, who, quite simply, could forbid me to
19 go for the exchange. Because those old people, the women and the children
20 who were there made room for me in the back part of the bus, and I stayed
21 there until the actual exchange took place.
22 Q. Thank you. Where did the buses take you?
23 A. We started out first towards Brcko and then Bijeljina and then on
24 towards Serbia.
25 Q. Did you actually cross the border into Serbia?
1 A. Yes, we did cross the border and we entered Serbia.
2 Q. And did you then -- were you then exchanged in Serbia or did you
3 again leave Serbia?
4 A. They drove us to a place called Sid, which is near the
5 Serbian-Croatian border. There was a motel which was called the Motel
6 Sid, taking its name from the town, and that is on the Belgrade-Zagreb
7 motorway, not many kilometres away from the demarcation line, or rather,
8 at that time it was the place where UNPROFOR was stationed. I think that
9 UNPROFOR took part in our exchange. Anyway, we were brought to Sid on
10 that first lap, to the Sid Motel, in fact.
11 Q. And did you then get off the buses and stay in the Sid Motel?
12 A. No, we did not get off the bus. Let me just say that on the road
13 to Sid, we were stopped frequently at checkpoints by the military or
14 whoever was manning the checkpoints and wearing uniform. Sometimes they
15 would board our bus and threaten to cut our throats, said that they would
16 kill us and that we shouldn't be allowed to go free. (redacted)
24 In the meantime, one of the buses broke down, so we all had to
25 wait for the bus to be repaired, so that we arrived in Sid in the late
1 afternoon. Perhaps it was evening already. So that the exchange was not
2 organised that day. It did not succeed in taking place that particular
4 Q. So what did you do for the evening, then?
5 A. That evening we spent in the buses.
6 Q. This is all the women and the children. Was there a toilet on the
7 bus? Had you received food during your arduous journey to Sid?
8 A. On the journey to Sid we were not given any food and we couldn't
9 relieve ourselves, we couldn't get off the buses, so that some of the
10 children and the elderly women had to urinate in the bus.
11 Q. And so you said that you spent the evening in the buses, and then
12 can you take us to the next morning and tell us what happened?
13 A. That night was a particularly difficult night for us, because we
14 were afraid that the exchange would never actually take place. I don't
15 think any of us slept at all. I saw the old women and old men who had
16 been collected up from the Croatian villages were praying to God, praying
17 that everything should go well and that they could get out of the
18 situation and go to Croatia.
19 In the morning, at daybreak, they brought us some food, and I can
20 say that compared to what I had experienced before that, that the food was
21 plentiful. I think that that too was organised by Mr. Tadic, the food and
22 everything else.
23 Q. Thank you. So after you'd had some food, did you then remain in
24 Sid [Realtime transcript read in error "SIT"] or did you move on to a
25 different location to be exchanged?
1 A. We stayed at the motel or, rather, in front of the motel where we
2 were parked and where we had spent the night. And after breakfast or
3 after having something to eat in the early morning hours, I asked to be
4 allowed to meet with Mr. Tadic.
5 MS. REIDY: [Previous translation continues] ... just continue.
6 For the transcript, I think it's a problem with my pronunciation of
7 B/C/S. Line 20 of page 24 has -- my question says: "Did you remain in
8 SIT?" and I meant Sid, which I understand is spelled S-i-d, and just --
9 because SIT is also the name of the factory in Bosanski Samac, and I
10 wouldn't like there to be any confusion for the record.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 MS. REIDY: So my question referred to Sid. Thank you.
13 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Bicic, just a technical problem. Can I take you
14 back to your last testimony, which was that you asked to be allowed to
15 meet Mr. Tadic. Was your request granted?
16 A. I didn't ask anybody. I had no reason to ask somebody to be
17 allowed to talk to him because we weren't tied there or anything else. We
18 were allowed to eat and step down from the bus. But I had been rather
19 busy, and I tried to seize an opportunity to speak to him, which I
20 succeeded in doing.
21 Q. What did you want to speak to him about?
22 A. First of all, I asked him whether he could spare a few minutes for
23 me, and he said yes. And I wanted to talk to him about my brother,
25 Q. What was it about your brother that you wanted to raise with him?
1 A. As I knew that Mr. Tadic knew me very well, I thought I had every
2 right to ask him, in very -- to ask him to use his authority to ensure
3 that my brother would be exchanged as quickly as possible. I humbly
4 requested him to do that.
5 Q. And what was his response?
6 A. He said that he would do his best. I thanked him in advance.
7 Q. Thank you. After this -- when you actually got an opportunity to
8 speak with Mr. Tadic, was this still in Sid or was it somewhere else?
9 A. That was still in Sid, before noon, while we were waiting and
10 while we were still not sure whether the exchange would go through,
11 whether it would actually take place and be successful. So we were still
12 in this state of expectation and incertitude, because there was always the
13 possibility that we might be taken back to the camp.
14 Q. Were you in fact exchanged on that day?
15 A. Yes, luckily. Sometime between 11.00 and 12.00, we were told that
16 the exchange could start, and we were exchanged that day finally.
17 Q. Where exactly did that exchange take place?
18 A. The exchange took place at a place called Lipovac, I think, which
19 is at the very border between Serbia and Croatia. It is on the motorway
20 running from Belgrade to Zagreb.
21 Q. And do I take it that when you were exchanged, you went to
23 A. Yes. After the exchange, I was in Croatia.
24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Bicic, it's very evident from all the testimony
25 that you've given that you were delighted to be exchanged. Was that
1 because you were delighted to be leaving Bosanski Samac or was it because
2 you were delighted to be released from your detention?
3 A. Well, you know, I think that I had mixed feelings. As happy as I
4 was to know that I would be seeing my mother and daughter again and my
5 sister-in-law and my brother's child, daughter, and that I was finally
6 free, on the other hand, I was very, very sad because I knew the
7 circumstances in which my brother had remained where he was, so that these
8 were mixed feelings. But nevertheless, the I was very happy, yes.
9 Q. In April 1992, just before your detention, did you have any
10 intention of leaving Bosanski Samac?
11 A. No, I didn't have any intention of leaving Samac.
12 Q. Would you say that you left Bosanski Samac of your own free will,
13 that it was your choice to leave Bosanski Samac?
14 A. My answer to that is the following: From the very time of my
15 arrest, nothing was according to my own free will after that.
16 Q. Can I ask a -- this is to take you back whilst you were in
17 detention. It was a matter you raised yesterday. You said during your
18 detention period that you'd heard rumours that the ICRC were looking for
19 you. Did you ever get a visit by the ICRC in any of the locations in
20 which you were detained?
21 A. No. Nobody of those international institutions, the Red Cross or
22 whatever organisations for assistance or contact with our families or
23 something like that, nobody never came to visit us. And when I say "us,"
24 I mean the group of people who were incarcerated with me up until my
25 exchange. Afterwards, I don't know.
1 Q. So those people who you said yesterday were represented to the
2 ICRC, do I take it they were then first shown to the ICRC and then
3 following their presentation they were incarcerated with you or came to
4 join you?
5 A. At least some of them. I don't know how many were shown to the
6 Red Cross, but I do know that they put some of them in with us, into our
7 group. And it was precisely from one of them that we heard - and I gave
8 you his name yesterday, I think - that I heard why he was there and what
9 had happened to him linked to the visit by the Red Cross and what
11 Q. I'll take you back now to your exchange. Can you just tell us,
12 after you were exchanged, you went to Croatia. Did you visit a doctor?
13 Did you require medical attention? What was your physical state of being
14 like, your health?
15 A. The first thing that I wanted to do was to try to get rid of my
16 beard, because I had a big beard when I was exchanged, and I never wore a
17 beard in my life. I didn't want my daughter to see me looking like that.
18 And I wanted to change my bloody clothing. I changed my clothes
19 with the help of one of my friends who had received information that I was
20 up for the exchange that day, and he was waiting for me with a fresh
21 change of clothing. And I wasn't able to do away with my beard that first
22 day, so I postponed my meeting with my daughter for the following day.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel, it's 11.00. We shall rise and continue our
24 proceedings at 1130 hours.
25 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution is continuing examination-in-chief.
3 MS. REIDY: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Bicic, at the beginning of your testimony you said that you
5 were currently living in Germany. Have you been back to Bosanski Samac
6 since you were exchanged in Croatia?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And when you went back, did you visit your old house, properties
9 that you owned?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What sort of -- what did you see when you went to visit them?
12 A. To start with, my house, my house is ruined. When I say that, I
13 mean that everything that could have been destroyed has been destroyed.
14 Part of the roof is missing. There are no windows, no doors. Some walls
15 have been pulled down. I have even noticed that the plumbing has been
16 removed from the bathroom, that the electricity cables have been taken
17 away. Quite simply, it is a ruin.
18 Of the three catering establishments we had in our town -- or
19 rather, they were not all catering establishments. One of them was a shop
20 selling clothing, and this has also been ruined. Everything has been
21 looted, as was the case with my house.
22 Another business premise that was owned by my brother in the
23 centre, its purpose has been changed. Everything has been looted. My
24 brother actually had a shop there selling games. I'm referring to
25 computer games and snooker and things like that. Everything was looted,
1 and one of the local Serbs, or Serbs who moved in, has a cafe there now.
2 Only the pizzeria was still working, but when it was possible to go there
3 and I visited it, it was in a very bad condition. I heard, however, that
4 it operated throughout this time. It changed owners several times, but it
5 was also thoroughly looted. I think that of everything that was in it,
6 and I can say that it was very well equipped, I managed to see only the
7 oven for baking pizzas, which was so big and so heavy that probably for
8 this reason it stayed behind and was not taken away because they were
9 unable to carry it.
10 Q. You say that the pizzeria changed owners several times, but you
11 were the owner of that pizzeria, weren't you?
12 A. I was the owner, yes, but by some kind of decree or whatever, all
13 our property was confiscated. And I say it was confiscated because later
14 on, I wrote various requests and applications asking for the restoration
15 of our property, which in the meantime has been looted and ruined.
16 Q. When your property was originally confiscated, did you ever
17 receive any payment or consideration in exchange for your property?
18 A. No. No, I never received any payment or compensation. None of us
20 Q. Have you -- were your applications to have your property restored
21 to you successful?
22 A. Well, what would we mean by successful? My opinion, it's
23 impossible to restore something that was looted and damaged for years, so
24 that of all this property, only the pizzeria is still operating. And I
25 hope that after my testimony, it will not be destroyed further.
1 Q. Is the pizzeria now back in your name, your ownership?
2 A. Yes. I am again the owner of this property. In the meantime, I
3 found a compromise, so I have rented it out to a young man from our
4 municipality whom I knew before the war, and I am satisfied with him.
5 Q. Thank you. Is the house back in your name or your family's name,
7 A. Yes, the ruins of my house.
8 Q. Just before the break, you had testified that you had changed your
9 clothes and you were planning to visit your daughter, I believe, in
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we leave the change of his positions,
12 Witness, did you have any motor vehicles before you were arrested, and if
13 so, what has happened to them?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the moment of my arrest, I had a
15 car - it was a Mercedes - and a jeep. My brother had a car, a Honda.
16 When we evacuated our family before the town was taken over, fortunately
17 we left two cars in Croatia, so that only my jeep was confiscated.
18 MS. REIDY: Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Bicic, just talking about properties and the motor cars, for
20 completion, was there anything -- any other property or possessions that
21 you had prior to the war which were confiscated?
22 A. Yes, I did have some property.
23 Q. What -- what was that if it was different from any of the
24 businesses you've talked about, your house, or the cars?
25 A. Besides catering and my pizzeria, I had another business. I had
1 many gaming machines, football, soccer, billiards, various electronic
2 games, poker machines, about 150 or 160 of these machines. All this has
3 been stolen.
4 I had these on the territory of the municipality of Samac, in the
5 town itself, in Modrica, and in some surrounding villages. I had rented
6 these out, and later on I was not able to get any of it back. It has all
7 been looted or destroyed. That's as far as my property is concerned.
8 Q. Thank you. For the jeep you've talked about, and these machines,
9 have you ever received compensation?
10 A. No. No, I didn't.
11 Q. You said --
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Ms. Reidy.
13 I wonder, Mr. Bicic, could you tell us how you regained control of
14 the pizzeria? Because from my understanding, there were other persons who
15 were running it in your absence and so on. So I'm just wondering, did you
16 have to pay anything to get control of it again or -- essentially, what
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First, I had to go through
19 paperwork. I had to fill in applications for the restoration of property,
20 and then -- I think they call it the Ministry for the Return of Displaced
21 Persons and Property, and through them I contacted the man who was running
22 the pizzeria at that time. I think his last name was Lazendic. He tried
23 to extort some money or to get some money from me in order to give up my
24 property, but I did not agree to this, and he then told me that he had had
25 to pay the people who had held the place before him. And then he asked me
1 who would give him this money back. I don't know for how many years he
2 had been running the pizzeria. Perhaps four or five. And I told him that
3 I had no intention of paying anything for my own property. And he said
4 that in that case, he would have to take all the things, because he
5 considered them to be his because, as he alleged, he had bought them.
6 We then came to the conclusion, through the mediation of some
7 people from the ministry, that an inventory should be taken of what in the
8 pizzeria was mine, so that when he left it, he would not take away
9 something that was mine. And as I have already told you, all that was
10 left to me was the pizza oven.
11 In the end, when I did not agree to pay for anything, he said to
12 me that he had had to pay for the central heating radiators extra, and he
13 said if I didn't want him to take them away, I should give him 400 German
14 marks. And I replied to him as I had before, that he would not get one
15 German mark from me because I refused to be blackmailed any longer, and I
16 said he was welcome to the radiators.
17 Then I bought new radiators in Germany, the best I could find, and
18 I sent them down there to the young man who rented the place from me and
19 decorated it, and that was it.
20 MS. REIDY:
21 Q. Mr. Bicic, can I just ask: Mr. Lazendic, who you eventually got
22 your property back from, do you happen to know anything about his
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. Could you tell us what ethnicity he was?
1 A. He was a Serb.
2 Q. Do you know whether the owners before him, I mean the several
3 owners you said there might have been, do you know what ethnicity they
5 A. Also Serbs.
6 MS. REIDY: Thank you.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Can I just -- yes. What year was this when you
8 finally got your pizzeria back?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was about a year and a half ago.
10 MS. REIDY:
11 Q. You've mentioned a number of businesses and that now you are
12 receiving some rent for your pizzeria. Did you also receive rent from
13 your pizzeria prior to the war or from some of the other business
14 interests you had?
15 A. We -- we ran these business interests. We were the owners. We
16 ran two of them. And the shop my brother had, the shop selling games in
17 the town centre, was one that we rented, and we had an option to buy it,
18 and we invested money in it, so that before the war we did not rent out
19 our property or our business interests at all.
20 Q. I'll just ask you to explain one other matter. You said that the
21 situation you've now reached was a compromise, and I just wonder what you
22 mean it's a comprise now that you have someone else running it.
23 A. You mean my pizzeria?
24 Q. Well, yes. I think your explanation on the record was that you've
25 reached a compromise and that a young man is now renting it from you, and
1 I just wanted to know what you meant when you said that this was a
3 A. When I said it was a compromise, I meant that in all this, I am at
4 least partly satisfied, if one can talk of satisfaction at all in this
6 Q. Mr. Bicic, I will now take you back again just to the time of your
7 exchange, and I'd just like you to explain what you did immediately after
8 your exchange. You've told us that you changed your clothes and you
9 planned to meet your daughter. I had asked you whether or not you had at
10 some stage sought some medical attention.
11 A. Yes. Yes, I did seek some medical attention.
12 Q. What was the nature of that medical attention?
13 A. Some good friends of mine from Croatia, from Slavonski Brod,
14 helped me at once to get some medical check-ups with very good doctors in
15 the hospital in Slavonski Brod. After this, most of them said I should be
17 Q. Were you hospitalised?
18 A. No. No, I wasn't.
19 Q. Could you just explain to us some of the injuries you had which
20 caused the doctors to suggest hospitalisation?
21 A. There were various injuries. Most of my internal organs were
22 damaged, my kidneys, my spleen. My fingers were still broken, so were my
23 ribs. But I didn't want to stay in hospital, because I thought if I
24 stayed in hospital, I would not be able to help, to help my brother be
1 I was given various medicines, and I used quite a lot of these
2 medicines. However, I did not feel physical pain. The psychological pain
3 was far stronger.
4 Q. How long would you guess that it took you to recover from the
5 physical injuries and then, secondly, from the psychological pain you've
7 A. I think I managed to recover from my physical injuries relatively
8 quickly. And when I say "relatively quickly," I mean after about six
9 months. But as for my psychological suffering, I think I have not
10 recovered yet.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bicic.
12 MS. REIDY: If Your Honours please, the Prosecution has now
13 finished their examination-in-chief.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Cross-examination. I would like to know
15 how many Defence counsel will cross-examine the witness.
16 MS. BAEN: One here. And how many on the back? Two. Three in
17 total, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: About three, yes.
19 MS. BAEN: Yes. Four? Four.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: And Mr. Pantelic. Okay. All counsel.
21 MS. BAEN: I almost left out Mr. Pantelic.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. And you will start. Yes.
23 MS. BAEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Cross-examined by Ms. Baen:
25 Q. Mr. Bicic, my name is Catharine Baen, and I'm one of the lawyers
1 appointed by this Tribunal to represent Mr. Milan Simic, and I'm going to
2 be asking you a few questions mainly just to clarify your earlier
3 testimony. Most of my questions will be phrased where you can answer or
4 where the question calls for a yes or no response. If you don't
5 understand my question, please let me know, and I'll do my best to
6 rephrase it for you.
7 Do you understand everything so far?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. First of all, I want to talk to you about your relationship with
10 Milan Simic before all the hostilities started taking place in April of
11 1992. You've testified previously that you knew Milan Simic or you've
12 known him for a long time; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In fact, you went to primary school together; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And your brother Muhamed also has known Mr. Simic for a while;
17 however, did he not go to primary school with Mr. Simic, did he?
18 A. No. He was older.
19 Q. So you've had an occasion to know Mr. Simic for a longer period of
20 time or more closely than your brother Muhamed; correct?
21 A. At all events, yes.
22 Q. Your pizzeria, you mentioned in your earlier testimony last week
23 that Milan Simic was a frequent visitor to your pizzeria; is that
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. When you say "frequent," you mean maybe three or four times a
3 A. About that, yes.
4 Q. And for how many years did Milan Simic visit your pizzeria for
5 three to four times a week?
6 A. I couldn't say for how many years, but of late, let's say a year
7 or six months prior to the war, he was a frequent visitor.
8 Q. When he came into your pizzeria, he was very friendly with you;
10 A. Of course, yes.
11 Q. You never had any problems or ugliness with him, did you?
12 A. No. There was no reason. He was always very proper in his
13 conduct as a customer, just as the staff were proper in their conduct
14 towards all the other customers and to him as well.
15 Q. And he came in there with his wife sometimes?
16 A. I don't know that. I didn't know his wife.
17 Q. Do you know his father or his parents?
18 A. I knew his father, not his mother, but I did also know his
20 Q. And they're a nice family, aren't they? Wouldn't you agree?
21 A. It depends which angle of vision you take.
22 Q. Okay. You know from your years, I guess, of knowing Milan Simic,
23 you know that he's an educated man. He went off to the university to
24 study economics. Did you know that?
25 A. That he studied economics, I did not know, or where or anything of
1 that kind, but afterwards, I assumed so because he worked as an economist
2 or one of the directors, I think, of the timber industry or something like
4 Q. Okay. Back to the pizzeria for just a moment. You mentioned last
5 Friday that the other defendants in this case did not frequent your
6 restaurant or your pizzeria that much; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. You didn't really -- so you didn't see on these three or four
9 occasions -- three or four times a week that Milan came into your
10 restaurant, you did not see him continuously or frequently hanging out or
11 gathering with these other defendants, did you?
12 A. I didn't pay attention who was hanging out with whom, so I can't
13 affirm or deny.
14 Q. Okay. But they didn't come in there that often, and Milan did;
16 A. You've already asked me that.
17 Q. Just go ahead and answer, and we'll move on. I apologise.
18 A. I think I've already answered your question, and my answer was
20 Q. Well, answer this, then: These defendants never had any meetings,
21 political meetings or functions in your restaurant, did they?
22 A. You would have to ask them that.
23 Q. You never saw them, you were never aware of them having meetings
24 in your restaurant?
25 A. I think that my restaurant was not a hall or a place where
1 meetings of that kind would take place, political meetings or functions.
2 That was not its purpose. But if somebody socialised and talked, had
3 discussions, I don't know who that could have been.
4 Q. Okay. Let's -- I'll move away from this topic. I just want to
5 generally ask you, though: Prior to the hostilities, you had no bad
6 feelings towards Milan Simic and, as far as you know, he had no bad
7 feelings towards you; is that correct?
8 A. On my part, I did not, and I don't think he had any reason to
10 Q. Did you have an occasion to hear when Mr. Simic voluntarily
11 surrendered himself? Did you hear about it?
12 A. I think I heard about it.
13 Q. And do you remember where you were when you heard about it?
14 A. No, I don't remember.
15 Q. If I told you that he voluntarily surrendered the end of February
16 1998, would that sound to be correct?
17 A. I don't know about the date. I don't know when I heard about it,
18 the exact date.
19 Q. Okay. You gave a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor for
20 the Tribunal in early March 1998. Did they contact you or did you
21 volunteer to give a statement to them when they may have been talking to
22 other witnesses you knew?
23 A. I think they had contacted my brother first, and at that time I
24 think I was in Croatia, so that it was through my brother that I came into
25 contact with the Tribunal, and I said that I would be happy to respond to
1 the Tribunal's invitation to testify.
2 Q. So there was an invitation to your brother and then you
3 volunteered to testify, or the OTP asked you or extended an invitation to
4 you? I'm not quite clear. I'm sorry.
5 A. Could you clarify that question, please?
6 Q. Certainly. My question is -- this is the way I understand it, and
7 you can tell me if this is correct: The Office of the Prosecutor
8 contacted your brother, Muhamed, to give a statement. At that point, or
9 after that point, you gave a statement at some time in March of 1998. Did
10 you volunteer, did you go to the Prosecutors and say, "Hey, I can give a
11 statement," or did they come to you and say they would like to take your
13 A. I told my brother that when he was in a position and when he was
14 in contact with the Tribunal, that I would be happy to make a statement
16 Q. So apparently he conveyed that to the OTP and then they contacted
17 you; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct, yes.
19 Q. I want to move on to talk to you about your relationship with some
20 of the other people you've testified about today and also who are
21 mentioned in the Prosecution's indictment. First of all, your brother,
22 Muhamed, you've mentioned that he is your older brother. Are you living
23 together now in Germany? I'm not asking where, just: Are you living
25 A. No, we're not living together.
1 Q. When is the last time you did live together?
2 A. Do you mean the same house or the same town or the same country?
3 Could you be more specific when you say "living together"?
4 Q. Certainly. In the same town is a good place to start. Thank
6 A. The last time we lived in Bosanski Samac, and then afterwards,
7 after leaving the camp, we would sometimes be together, I mean in the same
8 town, first of all in Croatia, then for a time in Germany, and so on.
9 Q. At the time that you gave the statement to the OTP in March of
10 1998, were you living together in the same town?
11 A. No, we weren't.
12 Q. So when he contacted you about giving his statement, he called you
13 on the phone, or did you go to give your statements together?
14 A. I'm not quite sure whether the first mention of the Tribunal came
15 by phone, whether it was over the phone or whether it was when I went to
16 that town to visit our mother. She lives in that town.
17 Q. What town -- to what town are you referring?
18 A. I'm talking about the town in Germany where my brother and mother
20 Q. That's where you were when you gave the statement to the OTP?
21 A. Yes, I was there at that particular moment, because somebody had
22 paid a visit to my brother, and then I too gave a statement.
23 Q. Let me make sure I understand. You were in Germany, the OTP came
24 and interviewed you there, your brother was there and interviewed in the
25 same place in Germany. Was there anybody else from Bosanski Samac who was
1 interviewed by the OTP there in the same town in Germany when you were
3 A. As far as I know, no.
4 Q. Okay. Ibrahim Salkic was not there and Perica Misic was not
6 A. No, they weren't there.
7 Q. You, I guess, have been here in The Hague for a while waiting to
8 testify before the Trial Chamber. How long have you been here?
9 A. I've been here for a couple of days already.
10 Q. A couple of days. You were here last Friday to testify. You
11 weren't here prior to your testimony starting on Friday?
12 A. I said a couple of days before that.
13 Q. A couple of days before last Friday. So have you been here about
14 a week now?
15 A. Roughly.
16 Q. And your brother came here with you, did he not? You travelled
17 here together?
18 A. Yes. We arrived together in The Hague.
19 Q. At any time did you and your brother discuss the facts of this
20 case or your testimony here before the Tribunal?
21 A. My brother and I, thank God, have many better topics to discuss
22 than that.
23 Q. Okay. I'll move on. Ibrahim Salkic is the next person I'd like
24 to discuss. Ibrahim Salkic is a very, very good friend of yours; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In fact, he's one of your best friends, I believe you testified;
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes. My brother's best friend, and by the same token, my own.
4 Q. So all three of you are very close and have been for years;
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you see him very often now?
8 A. Unfortunately not.
9 Q. Do you know if Milan Simic and Ibrahim Salkic knew each other
10 prior to the unpleasant events of April, May, June of 1992?
11 A. I don't know that.
12 Q. All right. Next I'd like to ask you about Perica Misic. Did you
13 know Perica Misic before everything that happened during the hostilities?
14 A. Yes, I did know him.
15 Q. But you did not know him well, did you?
16 A. I didn't know him well, but I did know him.
17 Q. Okay. He wasn't a good friend of yours, and you didn't hang out
18 with him or spend a lot of time with him as you do with Ibrahim Salkic --
19 as you did with Ibrahim Salkic?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Okay. One more person I'd like to ask you about is Safet
22 Hadzialijagic. I hope I pronounced that correctly. Did you know him well
23 before the events we've been -- you've been describing?
24 A. You could put it that way, that I knew him, yes.
25 Q. Did you know him well? Was he a good friend of yours?
1 A. No.
2 Q. While you were in the primary school in detention, you were -- you
3 and Safet Hadzialijagic were in detention together until your exchange; is
4 that correct?
5 A. I think it is. Yes, until my exchange. Well, I don't know
6 whether he was exchanged at the same time I was.
7 Q. No, but what I'm asking, and I guess my question wasn't clear, he
8 was still there in detention in the primary school when you were exchanged
9 in early July; is that correct?
10 A. I can't answer that either, because I don't remember whether he
11 stayed in the primary school or possibly he had been transferred to
12 another prison. I can't remember that now.
13 Q. Okay. You were there though -- you mentioned earlier in your
14 testimony that you were in the primary school together in May and June;
15 isn't that correct? Early June.
16 A. For a time we were there together. I think that's what it was.
17 After so much time, I can't be 100 per cent certain, but I think he was.
18 I seem to remember that he was there part of the time if not all the
20 Q. I want to move on to your detention in the different detention
21 facilities, camps, whatever you want to call it. I'm not going to go into
22 as much detail, I just want to clarify some things, because you've given
23 the Trial Chamber very detailed information. Excuse me one moment.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 MS. BAEN:
1 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Bicic. I'm taking instructions from my
3 I just want to summarise. First of all, after you were arrested
4 and taken to the SUP on April 18th -- well, you and your brother were both
5 taken to the SUP building. While you were there, you and the others were
6 beaten continuously by these soldiers from Serbia, the police, and by
7 Lugar; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that includes -- I've given you a list of all the people who
10 beat you while you were at the SUP; is that correct?
11 A. Could you repeat that last question, please?
12 Q. This list of the -- certainly. The soldiers from Serbia, the
13 police, Lugar, were the individuals responsible for your continuous
14 beatings at the SUP; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And that includes everyone who beat you at the SUP?
17 A. I don't know. I can't answer that. I don't remember.
18 Q. These individuals I mentioned then, these weren't isolated
19 beatings. In other words, they didn't just beat you one time and stop,
20 did they?
21 A. Could you repeat that question, please?
22 Q. The question is: These individuals who beat you, did they beat
23 you once or did they beat you multiple times?
24 A. Do you mean just that day or during the entire time I spent in
1 Q. I'm talking about just the SUP right now, that day.
2 A. I don't know. Perhaps somebody did come on several occasions. I
3 don't know whether Lugar visited us once or twice, but we were frequently
4 beaten on that day.
5 Q. Okay. And you received no food and water that day, correct, at
6 the SUP?
7 A. That's correct. Yes. I think that none of us were in a position
8 to feel thirst or hunger.
9 Q. And just a couple more questions about the SUP. These people who
10 beat you at the SUP, they used a variety of weapons, did they not, or
11 equipment or different things to beat you; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And one more question about the SUP. I believe you testified Stiv
14 Todorovic seemed to be in charge or running the show at the SUP. Is that
16 A. Yes, I think that's correct.
17 Q. Now I'd like to move on to the TO. After you spent this day of
18 beatings in the SUP, you were moved to the TO, and the beatings continued,
19 and I'd like to go over just very quickly the individuals responsible for
20 your beatings at the TO. Cera, Laki, Mr. Todorovic, Lugar. And do you
21 remember being beaten by a Goran Simic?
22 A. Lots of people beat us, whose names I don't even know.
23 Q. Who else beat you then besides Cera, Laki, Todorovic, Lugar?
24 A. There were many other people from that group of men from Serbia.
25 Very many people used to come to these sessions of maltreatment and
1 torture. I couldn't give you their names now. I didn't know most of them
2 by name.
3 Q. And you said these were frequent beatings, sometimes three
4 beatings a day; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. At the TO you received no decent food, water; correct?
7 A. In the first days they used to take us from the Territorial
8 Defence building in an organised manner to have lunch. That was once a
9 day. They took us to a factory canteen on the outskirts of town. But
10 very often while we were taken out to lunch, we were beaten as we were
11 climbing onto the truck, and also on our way back, so that we asked
12 someone - I don't remember who it was now - but we asked not to be taken
13 out to lunch any more. After that they brought some food and water to the
14 room where we were detained.
15 Q. You received no kindness at all while you were at the TO; would
16 you agree with that?
17 A. Well, there were few people who were kind, or none at all.
18 Q. Let me ask you a question that we talked about -- or you talked
19 about yesterday regarding the ethnicity of those who were detained with
20 you in the TO. At one point yesterday you were trying to calculate the
21 percentages, and you said that it was 50 per cent Croatian and 50 per cent
22 Muslim, but you also mentioned that there was at least one Serb who was
23 detained with you there at the TO; isn't that correct?
24 A. That's correct to the extent to which I was able to distinguish
25 between Serbs and Croats.
1 Q. That actually is what I was going to ask you, because you
2 mentioned yesterday that at that point you really weren't making a
3 distinction between Serbs and Croats because there really was no
4 reason or you just -- it never came in your mind at that point; is that
5 correct? Did you say that yesterday?
6 A. Yes, and I can say that today also.
7 Q. So it's possible that there was more than one Serb in detention
8 with you, is that correct, since you couldn't distinguish at that point?
9 A. I allow that possibility, yes.
10 Q. While you were in detention at the TO, I know there were a lot of
11 horrible things going on, but did you remember hearing any bombs or
12 grenades detonating in the town of Bosanski Samac?
13 A. Yes, I think I did. I don't know where the sound of detonations
14 was coming from, whether it was from town or from elsewhere. The river
15 Sava is nearby, and Slavonia. Whether it was coming from there, I
16 couldn't be sure. I don't know from where the sound was coming.
17 Q. And finally, while you were at the SUP and TO in detention, did
18 you ever have occasion to see Milan Simic at all?
19 A. No. No, I don't think I ever had occasion to see him, no.
20 Q. Who was in control of the TO? It was Todorovic again, was it not?
21 A. I don't know that.
22 Q. You have no idea who was in control of the TO?
23 A. If you are referring to the political post or whatever, I don't
24 know that.
25 Q. I'm sorry. There's probably a problem with my question. In your
1 time in the TO, from your perception and what you observed, who seemed to
2 be in charge of the TO? Police?
3 A. It's hard to answer that question. We were often taken to the
4 police and beaten, and the men from Serbia often came and beat us, and
5 people like Cera would often come in and beat us. Who was directly
6 responsible, that I couldn't tell you.
7 Q. Who was guarding you, then?
8 A. We were guarded by people wearing Serb police uniforms.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MS. BAEN:
11 Q. You mentioned you knew Stiv Todorovic was head of the police;
13 A. That's what I heard.
14 Q. After ten days in the TO, you and the others you had been detained
15 with in the TO were transferred to Brcko. At Brcko you were severely
16 beaten as soon as you arrived; is that correct?
17 A. I didn't say severely.
18 Q. Okay. You were beaten. How were you beaten?
19 A. Could you please repeat your question?
20 Q. When you arrived, you and the others who were transferred from the
21 TO arrived in Brcko, were you beaten, or how were you beaten?
22 A. We were met there by I think it was the military police. And when
23 I say that we were both beaten and tied up and relieved of what was left
24 of our documents and property, I didn't mean to say that the maltreatment
25 and beating was as severe as it had been up to that point in the
1 Territorial Defence. Even the songs we had to sing were different from
2 the ones we had to sing in the Territorial Defence.
3 I remember that we were surprised, because instead of Chetnik
4 songs, we had to sing Yugoslav songs, a song about Yugoslavia.
5 Q. That brings up an issue I wanted to cover with you. These songs,
6 it's been testified to earlier in this trial that it was sort of a rule
7 that while you were in detention in these different places that you were
8 always to sing Chetnik songs, and I guess that except for Brcko, the
9 songs -- some of the songs were different, but is that correct? The rule
10 was you had to sing Chetnik songs when you were being beaten?
11 A. Yes, that was the rule.
12 Q. And before we leave Brcko, the JNA was in charge of the Brcko
13 facility or -- the Brcko facility; is that correct? The barracks. The
14 JNA was in charge?
15 A. I think it was still called the JNA at that point.
16 Q. And you said you stayed in Brcko - yesterday you said this - until
17 the aggression started, and the aggression that you're talking about
18 actually is the aggression that the Croats or the Croatians started in
19 Brcko; is that correct?
20 A. No. No. I wasn't referring to the Croatian aggression on Brcko.
21 Q. What kind of aggression were you talking about?
22 A. I was referring to the attack or the explosion. When I say
23 "aggression" throughout my testimony, I mean the aggression on our town,
24 and I have never mentioned any sort of Croatian aggression. We were
25 imprisoned by the Serbian side, and that is the only sort of aggression I
1 can talk about.
2 Q. So yesterday you were asked a question by Ms. Reidy:
3 Q. How long did you stay in Brcko for?
4 And the answer in the transcript says:
5 A. We stayed in Brcko until the beginning of the attack
6 on Brcko or the start of the aggression on Brcko,
7 whichever you like.
8 So you will not discuss the aggression on Brcko. Is that what
9 you're saying today?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: No, I don't think that is right. That is not what
11 the witness said. So --
12 MS. BAEN: Excuse me, Your Honour. I'm sorry. If I
13 misunderstood, I apologise.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. He talked about aggression, but not Croatian
16 MS. BAEN: That's what I was trying to clarify. When he said
17 "aggression," was he saying -- who was he saying the aggression was by?
18 Who were the aggressors?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Ask him that, but not that he implied Croatian
20 aggression. He didn't imply Croatian aggression.
21 MS. BAEN: Oh, I know he didn't imply that. My question was not
22 clear, I guess.
23 Q. Mr. Bicic, who was the aggressor on Brcko?
24 A. You can put that question to someone who was not in the military
25 prison in Brcko.
1 Q. So you're saying you don't know?
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Ms. Baen and Mr. Becic. Correct me if
3 I'm wrong - I don't have yesterday's transcript in front of me - but was
4 this whole question concerning the witness hearing an explosion which
5 turned out to be the bridge being -- being bombed, the bridge across the
6 River Sava? I might be wrong on that, but I'm trying to be of assistance
8 MS. BAEN: I appreciate that, Judge Williams. What -- the part in
9 the transcript where this is discussed is right before the detainees were
10 moved back to Bosanski Samac, and that, according to the testimony, was
11 when he, the witness, said they left, was when there was the aggression on
12 Brcko. It's page 67 of the transcript, line 16, for purposes of the
13 record, Your Honour.
14 Q. I'm sorry for the delay, Mr. Bicic, but we'll move on to Bijeljina
15 and try to move through there in a more summary fashion.
16 You were transferred after Brcko to Bijeljina, and the people
17 detained there with you were some of the same people who were detained in
18 Samac with you at the TO; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. And I owe you an answer to your previous
20 question. You asked me who mounted an aggression on Brcko. I can answer
21 by telling you under whose control Brcko was up to the Dayton Accord.
22 And now let me answer your second question.
23 Q. Are you going to answer the second question or do you want me to
24 ask it again?
25 A. Yes, please.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 2781 to 2791.
1 Q. Okay. The people you were detained with at Bijeljina were some of
2 the same people with whom you were detained at the TO in Samac; is that
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. And you received again ritualistic torture and beatings there in
6 Bijeljina; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And these were not -- the beatings were not isolated incidents.
9 In other words, you were getting them sometimes from the same people; is
10 that correct?
11 A. In Bijeljina?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. In Bijeljina, they changed very often the people who beat us.
14 Q. How many beatings would you say you received there, in the tens to
15 twenties to thirties? How many beatings while you were in Bijeljina?
16 A. I couldn't tell you that exactly now. No, I couldn't be precise
18 Q. Would you say more than ten?
19 A. In Bijeljina, well, it was more than ten times, but we were
20 maltreated in various other ways. For example, we were made to kneel, to
21 sing. They would keep us singing for hours, standing to attention. So
22 the torture was a daily occurrence.
23 Q. Go ahead.
24 A. No. I just wanted to say that the methods of torture changed
25 frequently, but the torture itself was a very frequent occurrence.
1 Q. Okay. And were there a variety of weapons used or equipment or
2 things to -- different things to use to torture you and the other people?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Bijeljina was controlled also by the JNA. That's correct, isn't
6 A. Yes. We were locked up in the barracks in Bijeljina, which were
7 under JNA control, I think. I think it was still called the JNA. That
8 was still its name.
9 Q. Yes. Thank you. After twenty days at Bijeljina, you were then
10 transferred back to Samac, and you ended up at the secondary school.
11 Again you received numerous and brutal beatings, is that correct, at the
12 secondary school in Samac?
13 A. We were there briefly. And I don't know whether it was thirty
14 times or something like that, no, but it was a few times, which was a lot
15 for the three or four days we spent there.
16 Q. And Todorovic was one of the worst offenders; is that correct?
17 A. Absolutely, yes.
18 Q. And Todorovic and his guards, from your perception, seemed to be
19 in charge of the secondary school; is that correct?
20 A. I think, yes.
21 Q. And these guards were in uniform, were they not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. After you endured three days of continuous beating, two to three
24 days of continuous beating from Todorovic and the other monsters, for lack
25 of a better word, you were transferred to the primary school, which is
1 what we covered today; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. First of all, from your perception, who was in charge of the
4 primary school? It was also Todorovic and the similar -- it was the
5 similar -- the same guards wearing the same uniforms; is that correct?
6 A. I can answer that question, but I didn't really think a lot about
7 who was responsible where. We were concentrating on whether we would
8 survive and how. But I think that he was one of the people who were in
9 control of all this.
10 Q. Okay. Who was guarding you? Who was actually guarding you there
11 in the primary school?
12 A. I think it was policemen, members of the Serb police.
13 Q. Okay. Thank you. I want to try to focus, and we're actually near
14 a break here, but I'm moving into the area of what happened at the primary
15 school, which obviously is very important for myself and my client. You
16 told Ms. Reidy earlier today that -- or yesterday, that you saw Milan
17 Simic, well, twice at the primary school; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, as far as I can remember, two times.
19 Q. And I want to focus on the first time he came out, which you said
20 today before he came in, you heard shouting, and before he came in,
21 someone ordered you to start singing the Chetnik songs again; is that
23 A. He came in where?
24 Q. Came into the primary school -- or not into the primary school;
25 you met in the corridor after you were taken out, you saw him in the
1 corridor. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes, I saw him in the corridor.
3 Q. And prior to this encounter with Milan Simic in the corridor, some
4 people ran in, you heard shouting, and someone ordered you and the others
5 to start singing Chetnik songs; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. They called you out, is what you testified to. When you say
8 "they," who do you mean called you out?
9 A. I think I have already mentioned this. I don't know who it was
10 that read out or called out my name, whether these people were guards or
11 people accompanying Mr. Simic. I don't know who it was who called me out
12 into the corridor.
13 Q. But you didn't see who called you out?
14 A. No, I didn't see.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 MS. BAEN:
17 Q. These people that you mentioned who ran in and ordered you to sing
18 and called you out, how do you know that they were in fact with Milan
20 MS. REIDY: Objection. Your Honour, perhaps it's an innocent way
21 of phrasing the question, but Ms. Baen seems to imply in that question the
22 witness has testified that the people who ran in and forced them to sing
23 were the same people who called you out, and I think the witness has made
24 very clear that he doesn't know exactly who called them out. I ask for
25 that question to be struck, and if Ms. Baen could rephrase her question.
1 MS. BAEN: I'd be happy to rephrase, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
3 MS. BAEN:
4 Q. You don't know who called the names out. You don't know whether
5 it was the guards with Mr. Simic or the guards who worked there at the
6 primary school. Is that correct?
7 A. I've already answered that question. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. You said that when Mr. Simic came in, he was slightly
9 tipsy. Is that what you stated earlier today?
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 A. I said that I saw -- he didn't come in. I had to go out. I was
12 called out of the gym. And in my first contact with Simic, I had the
13 impression - that's what I said - I had the impression that he was tipsy
14 and that he was distraught, that he was on the verge of tears. I felt
15 that in his voice, because he addressed me, and I have already said what
16 he told me on that occasion.
17 MS. BAEN:
18 Q. You have talked about this. I want to clarify something. You
19 said earlier today that he acted tipsy. All I want to know is: What made
20 you think that he had been drinking or that he was tipsy?
21 A. Well, it was his behaviour.
22 Q. And what do you mean by that?
23 A. By that I mean the way he pronounced words, his enunciation, then
24 the way he accused me of the death of his friend who was killed somewhere
25 on the front line while I was locked up, and all this indicated that he
1 was not in a normal state of mind, that he was not in the same state of
2 mind he was in seven days later when he came to apologise, in a way.
3 MS. BAEN: That's exactly what I was trying to find from you.
4 Thank you.
5 Your Honour, I am -- we're close to the break, I see, and this is
6 sort of a natural stopping point. Would you like me to stop or continue?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll have our lunch break and we'll continue
8 our proceedings at 1530 hours.
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.32 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Cross-examination is continuing by Ms. Baen.
3 MS. BAEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Actually, Ms. Baen, so I don't interrupt you in a
5 couple of seconds' time, I have one question pursuant to your cross-exam
6 before lunch that I'd like to pose to the witness.
7 What I'm wondering, I'd like to have a little clarification from
8 the witness. This concerns when Mr. Milan Simic was in the corridor in
9 the primary school, and this was the occasion when we heard, both in
10 examination-in-chief and then addressed this morning in cross-examination,
11 concerning Mr. Simic, I think in your words, being "tipsy." And in
12 cross-examination, if I believe -- my memory is correct, you said you knew
13 this because he slurred some words.
14 Now, my question is: What was your impression at the time of that
15 state of tipsiness? Was it your impression that he didn't realise or
16 estimate what he was doing when he kicked you and so on and so forth
17 because of intoxication? And I'd just like to get your answer as to
18 "tipsy." Did it mean he didn't realise, in your estimation, what he was
19 doing at the time?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that he wasn't conscious of
21 what he was doing is also a possibility. I think that Milan, sober, which
22 was the case seven days later, and the state he was in on that first
23 particular occasion, he was two different people, actually. They were two
24 different people, the first time and seven days later. In my opinion, had
25 he not had -- he had a little bit of character to him because he came to
1 apologise. He was the only one of all the Serbs - and I knew a lot of
2 them and I socialised with a lot of them - he was the only one who in some
3 way tried to apologise.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
5 JUDGE SINGH: Just following from that question, may I ask you
6 another question: You have known him for some time. You have known him
7 for some time, you say. Have you known him to drink, and if so, in what
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't answer that. I don't know
10 whether he was prone to drink or not. I think that most of the people who
11 came to my catering establishment did have a drink, and I served alcoholic
12 beverages as well. But that he was a drunkard or anything like that, I am
13 almost absolutely sure that he was not, because Milan, at least from my
14 point of view, as I saw him, he was a respected young man.
15 I don't know what came over him at that particular time to do what
16 he did to me, but -- I don't know.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, counsel can continue.
18 MS. BAEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Bicic, just to follow up on your perceptions of the reasons
20 why Milan Simic was acting the way he was that night, you mentioned that
21 he said something about his best man had been killed; isn't that correct?
22 A. I said that he had told me that his best friend had been killed.
23 That they were kum or best man, I don't know that.
24 Q. Okay. His best friend. And you said that this person's name
25 was -- and I don't know that I can pronounce this. Why don't you go ahead
1 and tell me who you think it was. I'm not trying to trick you. I think
2 there's a clarification here, and I want to just clear it up with you to
3 make sure we have the right person, that's all.
4 A. Yes. I'll repeat that once more.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. I think that he said Smiljanic. Now, if it is that particular
7 person, then I knew him, although superficially through the contacts that
8 I had had, my business contacts. I think he worked in the municipality as
9 an inspector, whether in the financial department or somewhere else, I
10 don't remember now.
11 Q. Okay. Is it possible that it could have been some person actually
12 named Dusan Mijanic, last name spelled M-i-j-a-n-i-c?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. Do you know that person?
15 A. I don't think I do, or I don't remember.
16 Q. You don't know him to be the inspector at the municipality, an
17 inspector at the municipality?
18 A. I don't know, but I allow for that possibility, the possibility
19 that it was not Smiljanic but Mijanic or something similar, because as I
20 said, I didn't know him well. But I have this image before my eyes, and I
21 think I know who he meant, who the man was.
22 Q. Okay. Turning back to this night, the first night where Milan
23 Simic came to the primary school, you mentioned on your direct examination
24 that "they," "they" ordered you to line up. Who exactly ordered you to
25 line up?
1 A. You mean when they came in and ordered us to sing or when they
2 beat us and then ordered us to line up? Which do you mean? Which
3 situation have you got in mind?
4 Q. I apologise. I've once again given you a confusing question.
5 When you were ordered to line up in the corridor, who was it who ordered
6 you to line up in the corridor?
7 A. The people who came with Mr. Simic, his escort or whatever. I
8 don't know who those people were. I assume they were some sort of
10 Q. Okay. And I have some questions about these escorts. You
11 testified earlier that you did not run into or encounter Mr. Simic, Milan
12 Simic, until you were in the corridor; correct?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. What did you say?
15 A. I said that before they beat us, these escorts, I had met Milan
16 when my name was called out and when I had to go outside, and that he
17 then, first of all, accused me that my people had killed his friend. And
18 I asked him, "Which my people? What do you mean?" And you know what I
19 said after that.
20 Q. Okay. That's not exactly what I'm asking you. What I'm asking
21 you, the first time that you saw Milan Simic that night was in the
22 corridor; correct?
23 A. Yes. I've already said that.
24 Q. These people, these escorts to which you keep referring as Milan
25 Simic's escorts, how do you know they were his escorts?
1 A. Well, they came with him. So when he came, they came with him at
2 that particular moment, and I assume that they were his escort, and they
3 addressed him as "president," "Mr. President, sir."
4 Q. Okay. Now, after you were ordered to line up with the others, can
5 you tell me, Mr. Bicic, what was the order that you and the others -- how
6 were you lined up?
7 A. I couldn't tell you that now. I don't really know now.
8 Q. How many of you were lined up?
9 A. At least three or four. I think three or four then.
10 Q. Right. You don't remember exactly who those three or four people
11 were, though, is what you're telling me? Is that correct?
12 A. I said who those people were. Perhaps you don't remember my
13 saying so.
14 Q. Well, would you tell me again who they are, please?
15 A. My brother Muhamed Bicic, myself, and I think that at that moment
16 there was at least one of the two people, Ibrahim Salkic or Perica Misic.
17 Either both or one of them. Now, nine or nine and a half years later,
18 after the event, I couldn't say with certainty what the actual order was.
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 MS. BAEN: Excuse me, Your Honours. I'm sorry about the
22 Q. Mr. Bicic, you said that Mr. Simic kicked you in the genitals.
23 How many times did he kick you?
24 A. At least three times.
25 Q. And did any of the other individuals, the people who you saw there
1 with Milan Simic, kick you in the genitals?
2 A. I think they did. The others beat me. Because I had to stand up
3 and stand the way they had ordered me to, so I had to be quick so that
4 they could keep their tempo up.
5 Q. So the others did kick you also in the genitals?
6 A. I don't know whether the others kicked me in the genitals, but
7 they kicked me wherever they could. I had to get up quickly.
8 Q. What about the others who were in the line with you? Did Milan
9 Simic kick them also?
10 A. I think that at least, at least, my brother Ibro, Ibrahim Salkic.
11 As for Perica Misic, I'm not 100 per cent certain. But like all the
12 others, we were first beaten by those escorts of his or whoever they
13 were. You know that better perhaps. I don't know.
14 Q. You're saying you remember this or you learned this later, this
15 information you just shared with the Trial Chamber?
16 A. I said that that was something that I saw and that I remember in
17 relation to my brother and myself and Ibrahim Salkic.
18 Q. Okay. So how many times did Milan Simic kick them?
19 A. You would have to ask them that. I was too preoccupied with my
20 own pains, aches and pains and injuries, for me to be able to count the
21 number of blows that other people got.
22 Q. So the answer is, then, you do not know how many times the other
23 individuals were kicked; correct?
24 A. That's correct, absolutely correct.
25 Q. When Milan Simic kicked you, did he kick you hard?
1 A. Judge for yourself. Each one of the blows threw me to the
2 ground. They were very strong kicks.
3 Q. Okay. So he was steady on his feet enough to be able to do that,
4 is what you're saying.
5 A. You'll have to ask him that.
6 Q. You mentioned that Milan Simic shot his Scorpion over your head;
7 is that correct?
8 A. Yes. I think it was a Scorpion.
9 Q. Where exactly were you when he shot over your head?
10 A. I was in the corridor --
11 Q. Were you -- I'm sorry. Go ahead.
12 A. -- the one leading to the toilet from the gym.
13 Q. Was Ibrahim Salkic or Perica Misic or your brother standing next
14 to you or were they somewhere else being beaten?
15 A. I think they were there. Whether they were all there, or just my
16 brother or Ibrahim Salkic or Perica Misic -- at any rate, somebody else
17 was there as well.
18 Q. What you're saying is somebody was there, but you just don't
19 remember who it was?
20 A. What I want to say is that I remember my brother being there and
21 somebody else as well. When they shot above my head, I even thought that
22 they were shooting at me, and so I wasn't paying due attention to who was
23 standing around, or perhaps you think that this was a situation in which I
24 could look around me to see what was going on.
25 Q. Mr. Bicic, I really -- I really have respect for everything that
1 you have endured and I really -- I'm not trying to be cute with you at
2 all. It's my job to clarify things on the record. That's my job for my
3 client. So if I offend you by my questions, I really don't mean to, I
4 really don't. Do you understand that?
5 A. I'm trying to understand you.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I'm sorry. We have a clarification
7 with the transcript.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Number 7.1, it says they were very strong kicks, and
10 the witness said they were -- this is a kind of unpleasant kicks, and if
11 it can be clarified with my colleague, please --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: -- the question.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm sure she will clarify that.
15 [Defence counsel confer]
16 MS. BAEN:
17 Q. Just for clarification for the record, Mr. Bicic: When Mr. Simic
18 kicked you in the genitals, were those strong kicks? I asked you that
19 earlier, but we need a clarification. Were they strong or unpleasant?
20 Because you said "unpleasant" earlier and the transcript is showing
21 something different.
22 MS. REIDY: Sorry. Just an objection.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution.
24 MS. REIDY: I think the whole unclarity is we don't know if he
25 said "unpleasant." I know the B/C/S people heard that. There's an
1 argument that that's not what came out in the transcript. That's what
2 we're seeking to clarify. So I don't think the witness should be told
3 this is what you said, but I think the initial question which Ms. Baen
4 asked was the correct one: Was it strong or unpleasant? And then to
5 follow up by saying, "You said it was unpleasant" is inappropriate.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I can state that the witness said
8 nezgodni, which means unpleasant, and the witness can verify that. He
9 said "unpleasant," and it was -- in the transcript it said it was strong
10 kicks and he said those were unpleasant kicks. That was the point of my
11 objection. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Counsel can ask the witness what he had said.
13 Then he can repeat what he had said and then we can listen to the
15 MS. BAEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Bicic, do you understand the question? The kicks, when
17 Mr. Simic kicked you, were those strong kicks or unpleasant kicks?
18 A. I can answer that. They were both strong and unpleasant, if you
20 Q. I'm not insisting. It's just a problem with the translation,
21 Mr. Bicic.
22 When Mr. Simic was firing the gun, this gun, this Scorpion over
23 your head, did he -- I believe -- I'm not sure, but I believe you said he
24 shot once over your head; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. I heard one shot.
1 Q. And was he facing you when he shot over your head?
2 A. Yes, he was.
3 Q. Was he directly in front of you, shooting straight back over your
5 A. Well, roughly he was in my direction.
6 Q. Mr. Bicic, you gave a statement in this case to the OTP, as we
7 discussed earlier, back in March 1998; isn't that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 MS. BAEN: May I have the assistance of the usher to present the
10 B/C/S version and the English version of the witness's statement, please?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we just have the date when the statement was
13 MS. BAEN: Yes, Your Honour. I was just about to give you that.
14 The date is March 7, 1998.
15 Q. Mr. Bicic, you have two documents in front of you. Do you see two
16 documents in front of you? The English version's on the ELMO, and I have
17 a copy of your statement translated into Bosnian in front of you. Do you
18 see that?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. I've given you the Bosnian version so that you can more easily
21 follow my questions. All right?
22 Would you look at the front page of the document, please,
23 Mr. Bicic. Across the top of the document you'll see that it says: "The
24 International Criminal Tribunal For the Prosecution of Persons Responsible
25 For Serious Violations of International Law Committed in the Territory of
1 the Former Yugoslavia since 1991." Do you see that across the top of the
3 A. Yes, I see it.
4 Q. And underneath that you see it says "Witness Statement"; is that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you'll see the date of the interview underneath or down close
8 to the bottom of the page says "March 7, 1998." Do you see that date?
9 A. I see that too.
10 Q. Have you had an occasion to look at that statement in the last few
12 A. I haven't looked at this statement.
13 Q. You will note that throughout the statement, if you look through
14 it, certain information, including your name or, actually, your initials
15 has been redacted. That's for your protection. Do you understand that?
16 A. Where do I have to look to see that?
17 Q. Well, it's at the bottom of the page. You can see markings where
18 things have been whited out or marked out. We call that redacted, whited
19 out or marked out for your -- it's on the English version. I'm sorry.
20 It's not on the Bosnian version. Do you understand that?
21 MS. BAEN: Could the usher just show him that on the bottom of the
22 page on the English version.
23 Q. Flipping through the pages, at the bottom.
24 A. No. I don't see anything.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MS. REIDY: Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the Prosecution.
3 MS. REIDY: I know it's very difficult when you're asking the
4 witness look at the document too, if it's possible to also see it on the
5 ELMO at the same time that the witness is looking or it's -- the witness
6 is being directed to where they want, because we can't -- I mean, I can't
7 see what he's being asked to look at either now. So if it's possible to
8 arrange it so that it also manages to be picked on the ELMO, it'll
9 certainly assist the Prosecution and possibly and the Bench too.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I hope the usher has understood that.
11 MS. BAEN:
12 Q. Mr. Bicic, could you flip through quickly the first few pages of
13 the Bosnian version of your statement in front of you and tell me if you
14 recognise this to be your statement that you gave to the Office of the
15 Prosecutor back on March 7th of 1998?
16 A. That would be it approximately. I don't know now to what extent
17 something may have been changed, but in principle, yes, this is my
19 Q. This statement that you made to the OTP, was this made
20 voluntarily? Yes or no?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you told the truth when you gave your statement? Yes or no?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you were interviewed for one day or just on that one date,
25 March 7, 1998; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And how many people were interviewing you for this statement?
3 A. I think there were three people. There was an interpreter and two
4 officials. I don't know.
5 Q. This interview, was it conducted in a question and answer format
6 or did you just provide the information yourself?
7 A. The interview was conducted in the following manner: For the most
8 part, I made my statement, the interpreter interpreted it, and they wrote
9 it down.
10 Q. And no pressure was put on you to make this statement at all;
12 A. No, none at all.
13 Q. You spoke freely?
14 A. Yes, certainly.
15 Q. You were not hurried?
16 A. No.
17 Q. The statement is approximately 16 pages long and full of detail;
18 is that correct?
19 A. Probably.
20 Q. And you said everything that you could recall about the events
21 that are the subject of this case in front of the Tribunal; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You gave the most important dates, events, persons involved, et
25 cetera. That's correct, is it not?
1 A. What I could remember at that moment.
2 MS. BAEN: If the usher could assist me, I'd like to turn on the
3 ELMO to page 8 in the English version, and I'd like to turn Mr. Bicic's
4 attention to page -- there's a stamp at the top, page 637137.
5 Mr. Usher, the English version is page 8.
6 Q. Mr. Bicic, have you found that page of your statement?
7 A. 637137, yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, today -- earlier today, you were asked a question
9 by Ms. Reidy. She asked you, after an encounter with Milan, if you saw
10 any other people who had been beaten, and you mentioned the name of Safet
11 Hadzialijagic. Isn't that correct? You testified to that earlier today;
13 A. I think so, yes.
14 Q. Turning your attention, Mr. Bicic, to paragraphs three and four on
15 the page I just referenced to you, those two paragraphs are the total
16 account of when Mr. Milan Simic came out to the primary school the first
17 time, is that not correct? If you could review those two paragraphs and
18 then please answer the question.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Can counsel please tell us the beginning of those
20 two paragraphs?
21 MS. BAEN: Yes. The English version, it's the bottom of page 8.
22 It's the last paragraph. It starts with, "One night a group of
23 Chetniks ..." And then it's also two paragraphs in the English version,
24 obviously, so it continues on page 9 in the English version, the first
1 Q. Just let me know when you finish reading, Mr. Bicic, please.
2 A. Yes, I've finished.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel, since we don't know whether or not you want
4 this statement in, can you read the two paragraphs for us so that we have
5 it on record?
6 MS. BAEN: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Bicic, I'm going to read in English, and you follow along in
8 the Bosnian version and tell me if what I'm reading is an accurate
9 translation. "One night a group of Chetniks rushed into our detention
10 room and started beating us --"
11 JUDGE MUMBA: No. You read slowly that the interpreters can also
12 follow. He will be -- the witness will be following silently.
13 MS. BAEN: I understand, Your Honour. I'll go slower. I get
14 excited and I start going too fast.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Just go slowly.
16 MS. BAEN:
17 Q. "One night a group of Chetniks rushed into our detention room and
18 started beating us. After awhile, they started calling out names.
19 Together with me, my brother Muhamed, Ibrahim Salkic, Perica Misic, and
20 others was called out. When we entered the corridor, who led from the
21 gymnasium to the changing room, we met Milan Simic. He was drunk and
22 almost crying when he addressed me. He was one of my friends and also my
23 schoolmate from before the war.
24 "He started to accuse me and said that the Muslims had killed his
25 best friend and roommate of his studying days. His name was Smiljanic.
1 After that, they started beating us. They beat us so severely that I
2 cannot say who were beating me. They used all kinds of equipment to beat
3 us. At one point, we were lined up and Milan Simic beat us in the
4 genitals. His men were laughing and said that we would not be able to
5 make children any more. Milan Simic also pointed his Scorpion at me and
6 shot a bullet just above my head."
7 Mr. Bicic, in reading along with the Bosnian version, is what I
8 just read an accurate translation of your statement?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And these two paragraphs constitute your entire account of Milan
11 Simic's first visit to the primary school; correct?
12 A. Yes, that was it.
13 Q. Isn't it correct, yes or no: Nowhere in those two paragraphs is
14 the name Safet Hadzialijagic ever mentioned?
15 A. Not in this translation.
16 Q. So you're saying my translation is not accurate; yes or no? Is my
17 translation accurate; yes or no?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Ms. Reidy.
19 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, I have an objection because I think what
20 Ms. Baen is seeking to do is to see whether or not there's an
21 inconsistency between the statement and what was said. However, I think
22 that she should then read him what he said from the transcript this
23 morning and put that simply to him as an inconsistency. Because there are
24 implications in the question -- I don't want to -- she's implying that he
25 said things about Safet which -- on testimony which he didn't. And I
1 think the testimony should be read back to him; he should then be asked to
2 explain if there's a discrepancy between the statement; why is there, if
3 there is one. Because at the moment, the question she started off with
4 gives the impression that his testimony here on the stand was otherwise,
5 and I think it's only fair to the witness that the two inconsistencies be
6 put to him, just as his statement has been put to him.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: I hope counsel has understood.
8 MS. BAEN: I do.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: If you can refresh the memory of the witness
10 regarding his testimony in Court.
11 MS. BAEN: I did, Your Honour. That's why I was very careful in
12 following the proper foundation for impeaching with the prior statement by
13 asking him, right before I did all the questions about his statement,
14 whether or not he made that statement earlier, and he said, unequivocally,
15 "Yes, I said that," so I don't know what else to do, respectfully.
16 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, absolutely I accept Ms. Baen's recount
17 that she did ask him about whether or not he mentioned the name Safet
18 Hadzialijagic previously in response to mine, but she didn't actually put
19 to him the question and his response. And I think it's very
20 clear -- what's here on the transcript is very clear, you know, that he
21 was taken back in the gym, other people were taken out, one of those names
22 that was called out was Safet. That's what he said. That simply should
23 be put to him, and not in such a way that it's confusing -- you know,
24 trying to confuse issues as to whether Mr. Safet was beaten with them or
25 not. Because, as I said, it's a very simple matter of putting the
1 transcript -- what was actually in the transcript to the witness, and not
2 an interpretation of it, which I feel Ms. Baen is making. And maybe it's
3 my fault for when she first mentioned Safet that I didn't raise it then
4 and ask her then to put the actual transcript on the record as opposed to
5 an interpretation of the transcript.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let me say this: What the Prosecution is
7 trying to say is that he didn't -- he did mention that name in his
8 testimony, but what you are trying to say to him is that that name does
9 not appear in this statement which was recorded by the Prosecutor. So you
10 want to ask him why there is an omission in his statement of the name
11 of -- I can't -- I'm so bad at names. Yes, I'm sure the witness has
12 understood the exchange.
13 MS. BAEN: May I read back my question from the transcript, Your
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MS. BAEN: It is page 14, starting at line 3:
17 Q. Thank you. Now, today, earlier today, you were
18 asked a question by Ms. Reidy. She asked you if
19 after an encounter with Milan you saw any other
20 people who had been beaten, and you mentioned the
21 name of Safet Hadzialijagic. Isn't that correct?
22 You testified to that earlier today; right?
23 A. I think so, yes.
24 So that's why I felt like that was clear. I've laid the
25 foundation, and that's why I proceeded, Your Honour. I was trying to lay
1 the proper foundation for impeachment.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think you can go ahead --
3 MS. BAEN: Thank you.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: -- unless Ms. Reidy has something else to say.
5 MS. REIDY: I just would like, for the record -- obviously
6 Ms. Baen has read back what she said, and in fact, my question was not at
7 all: Did I see anyone else beaten by Milan Simic? My question was, when
8 he mentioned the name Safet, was: "You say other people were taken out.
9 Do you remember any of their names, if you know who else may have gone
10 out?" I didn't question at that stage about whether anybody was beaten or
11 anything like that, and it was in that context that Safet was mentioned,
12 and that's -- so I said -- I'm sure part of the fault lies with me in not
13 being timely enough to correct Ms. Baen's reading of my question, and
14 that's really what I'm objecting to. Because the question she said I
15 asked him, I didn't, and now, as I said, she is going to, I think, try to
16 impeach the witness on an improper understanding of what the evidence to
17 date is so far.
18 MS. BAEN: Your Honour, I'm happy to go on. I'm happy with the
19 questions and the answers that are in the transcript. If there's a
20 problem -- I don't know what else to do. I'm happy to move on.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please move on.
22 MS. BAEN:
23 Q. Mr. Bicic, moving on to --
24 MS. BAEN: And Mr. Usher, you can take back the statements, if you
25 don't mind. I'm sorry, after all that.
1 Q. Mr. Bicic, moving on to the second visit Milan Simic made to the
2 primary school, you said that after he came to get you and Perica Misic,
3 that you waited outside for about five to ten minutes. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's what I said.
5 Q. So what was happening during this five to ten minutes?
6 A. Nothing was happening.
7 Q. In other words, why didn't you leave right away? Do you know?
8 A. We were told to wait by the car. I don't know what was going on.
9 Q. Is it possible that Mr. Simic was going to get permission from the
10 guards to take you out of the primary school?
11 A. I don't think he needed any permission to do that, but the reason
12 why we waited and what he was doing during that time, I can't tell you
13 that. That's something I don't know.
14 Q. Right. My question is: Is it possible? Yes or no?
15 A. What? Is what possible?
16 Q. Is it possible -- well, never mind. I'm not going to ask you to
17 even speculate. Your answer is that you have no idea what Milan Simic was
18 doing for that five to ten minutes while you were waiting outside; is that
20 A. I don't think it's me that is speculating. I think you are
22 Q. I might be. I'm just telling you I'm not going to ask you to
23 speculate. Do you understand? The answer is you don't know; is that
25 A. My answer is that I have no reason to speculate.
1 Q. Okay. Mr. Simic, you said -- earlier today you said he kindly
2 asked you if you wished to see your house. When you got to your house and
3 went in, you went in by yourself; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And Mr. Simic, his driver, and Perica Misic stayed in the car; is
6 that correct?
7 A. I think one of them got out to wait, and then they gave me the
8 flashlight. If that's important, I can add what I remember, that Milan
9 asked me not to try to run away, because if I did, he would have terrible
10 problems. And I answered that it wouldn't cross my mind, because my
11 brother was still in prison, so that he needn't worry about it.
12 Q. That's exactly what I'm looking for, that type of information.
13 You said that in the ride over there, your clothes had been very bloody
14 and that you wanted to change them. Milan Simic never asked you about how
15 your clothes got bloody, did he?
16 A. I think he knew that. He knew that I hadn't inflicted injuries on
17 myself in order to get my clothes bloody.
18 Q. He may have known. My question is: Did he ask you; yes or no?
19 A. I don't think so.
20 Q. You testified earlier today that when you had this discussion or
21 agreement with Mr. Simic to go to your house, he said that you should not
22 tell anyone that he allowed you to do that. Is that what you testified
23 to? Yes or no?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did he say why you shouldn't tell anyone?
1 A. No. I didn't ask him and he didn't tell me.
2 Q. Is it possible because he might have gotten in trouble with the
3 guards --
4 MS. REIDY: Objection.
5 MS. BAEN: -- at the primary school.
6 MS. REIDY: The witness has said, "I didn't ask him. He didn't
7 tell me." This is purely speculation, and Ms. Baen is, one, asking the
8 witness to speculate; and secondly, trying to put her own speculation on
9 the record as part of the evidence on record, and the question has been
10 clearly answered: "I didn't ask him. He didn't tell me."
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Ms. Baen.
12 MS. BAEN: I'll try to rephrase that, although -- let me read
14 Q. So there was no discussion at all about the reason why he told you
15 you shouldn't tell anyone; that's correct?
16 A. No, there was no discussion.
17 Q. Okay. After you went to your house, you went to the office,
18 Mr. Simic's office, and you said there was a lot of nice furniture. Did
19 you see any --
20 A. I said -- shall I answer your question?
21 Q. Well, let me ask the question, because I'm trying to move this
22 faster, actually. You testified earlier that there was nice furniture and
23 you went to the office. Were there office supplies and things in there,
24 like phones, file drawers, copiers, papers? Did it look like a working
1 A. Yes. It looked like an office with beautiful furniture.
2 Q. That was being used at the time; correct?
3 A. Probably. We sat at the table. We had some chairs, or there were
4 armchairs. I don't remember exactly any more.
5 Q. You said that you had polite -- or you had a conversation, I think
6 you said polite conversation, is that correct, or friendly conversation?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And he fed both you and Perica Misic and also got drinks for both
9 of you; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What sort of food and drink did he get for you two, you and Perica
13 A. We drank beer; at least, I remember I drank beer. And with
14 respect to food, there were all sorts of things you would use to make
15 sandwiches: cold meat and cheese and some sort of salad, cold cuts. I
16 don't remember. Something like that, something of that sort.
17 Q. And you and Perica ate and drank as much as you liked; is that
19 A. We were offered quite a lot, and we ate until we had our fill.
20 Q. You said that you stayed there in Milan Simic's office until dawn;
22 A. Approximately until dawn.
23 Q. So how many hours total were you there or -- let me rephrase
24 that. How many hours total were you with Milan Simic that night from the
25 time you left the primary school until the time that you were returned?
1 A. It was a few hours. I don't know now exactly what time it was
2 when he came to collect us in the evening, whether it was at 1.00 a.m. or
3 midnight or 2.00 a.m. I couldn't tell you with any certainty.
4 Q. So roughly somewhere between maybe three to six hours? Minimum
5 three, maximum six? I'm not trying to trick you, I promise. If you don't
6 know, you don't want to guess, that's fine. It was just awhile. Is that
7 good enough for you?
8 A. Well, I can't tell you exactly how long it lasted, but I don't
9 think it was more than four hours altogether at the most.
10 Q. In your conversation that you had with Milan Simic while you were
11 in his office, you mentioned the subject of you and your brother's
12 exchanges. That subject was discussed; is that correct?
13 A. Yes. And that information was conveyed to me by him.
14 Q. Correct. And you asked him -- of course you wanted to stay with
15 your brother, so you asked him if he could have you exchanged together; is
16 that correct?
17 A. First of all, I didn't want to stay with my brother. I wanted to
18 leave as fast as possible together with my brother and not to be
19 separated. So I wanted to ask him to wield his influence so that I could
20 be released together with my brother as soon as possible and not to keep
21 me there together with my brother in the camp.
22 Q. Okay. Another bad question you have caught me asking you. So the
23 question is: If you were going to be exchanged, you wanted to be
24 exchanged with your brother, not separately; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. And his response to you was he'd see what he could do, Milan, but
2 that the decision had already been made; is that correct?
3 A. That's also correct, yes.
4 Q. When you got back to the primary school and you gave that
5 information about the exchanges and your conversation with Milan Simic
6 about the exchanges, what was Muhamed's reaction that you may be exchanged
7 separately? Was he mad, happy? Did he --
8 A. The reaction was mixed. At one point we were happy about the
9 exchange and for receiving the information that the possibility of us
10 leaving all that behind alive was a realistic one, and secondly, we were
11 sad at the possibility of one of us leaving and the other one staying,
12 that we wouldn't be leaving together.
13 Q. Did Muhamed ever express to you that he might be mad at Milan
14 Simic because he couldn't get you exchanged together?
15 A. I told him that the information that the Crisis Staff -- that the
16 information was that the Crisis Staff had made the decision and not Milan
17 himself, and that I asked Simic to use his influence to see whether we
18 could leave together as soon as possible.
19 Q. Okay. I've just read your answer back, but I'm not quite sure
20 I've clarified --
21 [Defence counsel confer]
22 MS. BAEN:
23 Q. I'm sorry. I read your answer back, and I'm not quite sure I've
24 clarified what I'm trying to clarify.
25 I understand what you told your brother. What I'm asking you is:
1 Did Muhamed ever express to you that he might be mad at Milan Simic, the
2 Crisis Staff, anybody about the exchange situation that we're talking
3 about? I'm just asking if he told you he was mad.
4 A. Well, you can imagine him after several hours of my not being
5 there. He didn't know whether I'd come back alive, or he didn't know
6 where I had been taken, that he was very worried when I returned. But
7 that he was angry with the Crisis Staff or Milan or anybody else, I don't
8 think he had reason to be mad at anybody. We had a lovely time there for
9 all those months that we were there.
10 Q. So your answer is he never said he was mad? Yes or no?
11 A. I don't remember.
12 Q. Okay. This entire time, the maximum of four hours you were with
13 Milan Simic that night, were there any harsh words spoken to you by Milan
15 A. No. I have already said that he was very decent that evening.
16 Q. Okay. So there was no unkindness that night at all.
17 A. Not to me, no.
18 Q. Okay. I'm going to move your -- try to focus your attention
19 back. We're going to move back from -- to the events leading up to the
20 hostilities of April 17, 1992.
21 You have stated that prior to April 17, 1992, a psychosis was
22 created in the area of Bosanski Samac; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And all ethnicities were suffering from this psychosis. Would you
25 agree with that? That it wasn't just the Muslims, it was the Muslims, the
1 Croats, and the Serbs?
2 MS. BAEN: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I left the usher hanging. He
3 can go. I don't need his assistance any more. I apologise.
4 A. Could you repeat that question, please?
5 MS. BAEN:
6 Q. Of course. All ethnicities were suffering from the psychosis you
7 mentioned. Would you agree with that, that it wasn't just the Muslims, it
8 was also the Croatian people and the Serbian people living in the area; is
9 that correct?
10 A. I assume so, yes.
11 Q. And all ethnicities, as a result of the psychosis, were moving
12 their families out of the town; is that correct?
13 A. I don't think so.
14 Q. You don't think so.
15 A. I said that I do not think so.
16 Q. Which ethnicities were not moving out of town?
17 A. According to my knowledge, most of the Muslims stayed in town.
18 That is to say, the Muslims were not in a position to go to the
19 surrounding villages, because the Muslims in our municipality only lived
20 in town, for the most part in their own houses on their own property.
21 Q. Okay. Well, my question again is: All ethnicities, not all the
22 people of every person of every single ethnicity, but all three
23 ethnicities were moving out of town? Your family was Muslim and you were
24 moving out of town, so that's at least one Muslim family. Were there
25 Croatian families and Serbian families also moving out of town?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And as a result of this psychosis or extreme paranoia or -- we'll
3 use "psychosis" because that's your word. Because of this, many people
4 are arming themselves; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And all ethnicities are arming themselves?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you mentioned earlier that people are arming themselves both
9 legally and illegally; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct too.
11 Q. And you also stated that you and your brother Muhamed both bought
12 a couple of illegal weapons; is that correct?
13 A. No.
14 Q. All right. Tell me what's correct. You bought two weapons for
15 you and your brother. That's not correct?
16 A. What is correct is that I purchased the weapons, not my brother.
17 Q. Okay. You purchased them, but you purchased them for your use and
18 your brother's use; is that correct?
19 A. That is correct, yes.
20 Q. And these are automatic rifles; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know much about weapons?
23 A. Well, I wouldn't put it that way. I don't know much about them,
24 but I do know a little bit about them. I know the difference between a
25 pistol and a rifle.
1 Q. Do you know what a Kalashnikov is?
2 A. I procured two.
3 Q. So you know what it is. That's what you bought; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you know what an AK47 is?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You purchased these two Kalashnikovs, but prior to your purchase
8 of those two automatic rifles, you and your brother owned together two
9 pistols and a hunting rifle; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. Those were the weapons we had on paper legally. My brother
11 was a hunter, so he had a hunting rifle, and both of us possessed pistols
12 with licences issued by MUP.
13 Q. What sort of hunting rifle does your brother own? I'm talking
14 about the legal one that was owned previously.
15 A. It was a normal hunting rifle, but who the manufacturer was, I
16 don't know.
17 Q. Okay. And what kind of pistols were these two pistols that you
18 had, the legal pistols?
19 A. I've already said in the statement. It was CZ-99.
20 Q. Thank you. And I see that you did answer that. I'm sorry for
21 that repetition.
22 Having the pistol and the rifle, you still found it necessary to
23 buy these two Kalashnikovs. So you bought these guns, or you went to
24 Odzak to buy those guns; is that correct? Or two guys from Odzak. Excuse
25 me. You brought them from two guys at Odzak; is that correct?
1 A. From the surrounding parts of Odzak. That's correct, yes.
2 Q. Okay. And you know -- and you're probably going to think this is
3 a stupid question, but humour me and answer this if you can. Since you
4 said they're illegal weapons, obviously you know that it's against the law
5 to carry those two rifles, those two Kalashnikovs that you bought?
6 A. I have to admit that the question is a funny one. And secondly,
7 I'm going to answer by telling you that everybody had -- it was legal when
8 the army distributed the weapons, and it was considered illegal if
9 somebody procured these weapons as they were best able to protect their
10 homes. That really is a humourous -- stupid question.
11 THE INTERPRETER: "Humourous question." Sorry. Interpreter's
13 MS. BAEN:
14 Q. The guys -- excuse me. The gentlemen you bought these guns from,
15 their names were Marko and Simo; is that correct?
16 A. It is true that it was a man -- a young guy by the name of Simo,
17 but I don't remember a Marko.
18 Q. And you paid 1.400 Deutschemarks for these two weapons?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What is the penalty, do you know, or did you know at the time what
21 the penalty was for carrying illegal weapons like this in Bosnia?
22 A. Probably the penalty was severe, perhaps even execution, or at
23 least detention in camps, or something similar.
24 Q. You've never ever been convicted of a weapons charge?
25 A. I was convicted to a camp. I assume that that was punishment for
1 the weapons. Or perhaps there's something I don't know about, why I was
2 convicted to the camp and expulsion from the place I was born in.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Bicic, I'm not -- I'm really not attacking you. I'm just
4 asking questions that are just the general, typical questions that we ask
5 in cases such as this.
6 I asked you had you ever been convicted of a weapons charge, and
7 I'm talking about prior to April 17, 1992.
8 A. Convicted by whom? Accused by whom, the Serbian police or what?
9 Q. No. I'm talking about in a court of law in the former
10 Yugoslavia. Were you ever convicted? Did you go to court? Were you
11 charged and then convicted of carrying an illegal weapon? I think the
12 answer is no.
13 A. I don't think I was convicted, as far as I remember at this point
14 in time.
15 Q. So you're saying you were charged?
16 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
17 Q. Have you ever been convicted of any serious offence? I'm not
18 talking about during the war what happened; I'm talking about prior to
19 April 1992. Were you ever convicted of a criminal offence in the former
21 A. No.
22 Q. Moving back to the weapons. You and your brother were not the
23 only ones who obtained illegal weapons; is that correct?
24 A. I assume it is.
25 Q. There were other people, Croats and Muslims, who obtained illegal
1 weapons. I think you've already testified that everybody was getting
2 illegal weapons from everywhere; is that correct?
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm wondering why there's so much repetition.
4 MS. BAEN: I'll try to move along.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please.
6 A. Do you expect an answer from me or ...
7 MS. BAEN:
8 Q. Yes. I can only ask this question one more time or I may get
9 thrown out of here because I'm repeating stuff. I'm sorry to keep
10 repeating. I just want to make sure it's clear for the record.
11 To your knowledge, were there Croatians and Muslims who also
12 obtained -- other Muslims who also obtained illegal weapons? That's all.
13 A. I first have to answer by saying that there were two angles from
14 which you could view this, whether -- to determine whether weapons were
15 procured legally or illegally, depending on your point of view.
16 From the Serb position, we who procured weapons for the defence of
17 our own lives and homes and families were considered to have procured them
18 illegally, whereas they, the ones who had all these weapons without having
19 to purchase them on the black market or goodness knows which markets,
20 tanks and guns and everything else that goes with them, do you mean to
21 tell me that that was legal, whereas what we did illegal?
22 Q. Okay. Let me just -- I'm going to try to really move this along.
23 Since there were all these illegal weapons being procured from people, all
24 kinds of people, is it possible that members of the SDA had illegal
1 A. At that time, everything was possible when it came to weapons.
2 Q. To your knowledge, did any members of the SDA have illegal
4 A. I don't know that.
5 Q. Is it possible that people who were in detention with you --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Ms. Reidy?
7 MS. REIDY: I have to object to this line of questioning in the
8 sense that it's purely speculation. Anything is possible. And again
9 Ms. Baen keeps putting questions, "Is it possible that, is it possible
10 that." Simply ask the witness, "Do you know whether anyone detained with
11 you," before it repeats, otherwise it's purely speculation and --
12 MS. BAEN: I'll happily rephrase.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because this is a fact witness, so do rephrase
14 your question.
15 MS. BAEN: I understand the Rules, and I messed up.
16 Q. Mr. Bicic, do you know if any of the people who were in detention
17 with you had been carrying illegal weapons before they had been taken into
18 custody; yes, no, I don't know?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Okay. Let's move away from the weapons. I'd like to talk to you
21 now about some of the other things, illegal things that were happening in
22 the area of Bosanski Samac. Mr. Bicic, you know that there were
23 barricades that were put up in Bosanski Samac during this time of the
24 hostilities; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. I heard about some and I had to pass through others. When I
1 said "had to pass through," I meant checkpoint. Yes, I had heard that
2 there were some.
3 Q. And some of these barricades had been put up by some of these
4 Muslim individuals; is that correct? Is that what you heard?
5 A. I heard something about that, but I personally didn't see it.
6 Q. Right. What I'm asking you is if you heard that some Muslims, the
7 Muslim people, put up the barricades; yes or no?
8 A. I've already said that I heard about it. I heard that somebody
9 had erected barricades. Now, who ...
10 Q. And whoever was putting these up, this is illegal activity, is it
12 A. I assume so.
13 Q. To your knowledge, were any of the people -- or did you hear that
14 any of the people responsible for putting up these barricades ended up in
15 detention in Bosanski Samac?
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. By the way, you had mentioned, I believe it was on Friday of last
18 week, that at one point you left town to go to Crkvina; is that correct?
19 A. No, that is not correct. I went to Modrica, but I had to pass
20 through Crkvina, or I went via Crkvina.
21 Q. Okay. And when did you make this trip to Modrica? Was it the
22 week before April 17th?
23 A. It was before the 17th of April, but exactly when, I can't
25 Q. Maybe just a few days before, possibly?
1 A. No. I think it was more than that.
2 Q. Is it possible it could have been around the 13th of April, 1992?
3 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, again I would object again. Is it
4 possible? The witness was on that Friday asked when this occurred, and I
5 believe he's given his answer. I think he refers to it a number of weeks
6 before the 17th of April, and now Ms. Baen, I think, is trying to suggest
7 to him it was another date and asking him to speculate.
8 MS. BAEN: If he doesn't know --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Ms. Baen.
10 MS. BAEN: -- he doesn't know. Your Honour, if he doesn't know,
11 he doesn't know.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, so --
13 MS. BAEN: I'll rephrase. I'll move on.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
15 MS. BAEN: It's not a problem.
16 Q. Did you ever leave Bosanski Samac on any other occasion the week
17 of April 17th, 1992?
18 A. I frequently left, in all directions.
19 Q. And for what purpose were you leaving Bosanski Samac frequently
20 the week of April 17th, 1992?
21 A. Mostly for business reasons.
22 Q. What sort of business?
23 A. It was business which I had in connection with the machines that I
24 was renting out in Modrica and Gradacac and Orasje --
25 Q. What kind of machines was that?
1 A. -- and across the border in Croatia. I am referring to billiards,
2 poker machines, video games, football machines, slot machines, and
3 amusement machines.
4 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. Not slot machines, but just
5 entertainment or amusement machines.
6 MS. BAEN:
7 Q. How many times do you think you left Bosanski Samac that week?
8 Was it each and every day? Was it twice a day? Just some sort of general
9 idea on how many times you left.
10 A. It varied, depending on the need, how many times I had to go.
11 Sometimes it was once, sometimes twice, and I allow for the possibility of
12 more times in different directions.
13 Q. So you don't remember if you left town on April 13th, 1992
14 specifically, do you?
15 A. From this point in time, I can't remember how many times and
17 Q. So the answer is you don't know, you don't remember if you left or
18 not; correct?
19 A. Can you answer me, nine and a half years ago, on such-and-such a
20 date, where you were going and how many times?
21 Q. Absolutely not. I couldn't tell you nine years ago what I was
22 doing on a certain date. I'm just trying to get a general idea about what
23 you were doing the week before April 17th, because it was a very -- I'm
24 putting words in your mouth, but I would think it was a very, very
25 memorable week because of the psychosis of the time.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Ms. Baen, it's 1700 hours by our Court clock.
2 MS. BAEN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: How long do you think you need?
4 MS. BAEN: Not very long. I hope I'll go faster tomorrow. I
5 think half an hour --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: You had the whole of this afternoon.
7 MS. BAEN: I think in half an hour, but --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: You had -- we started before lunch hour and you've
9 had the whole of this afternoon. And do you remember that your colleagues
10 also wish to cross-examine?
11 MS. BAEN: Yes, I do, Your Honour. I don't think they have very
12 much, and I really don't have that much left. I think it's probably going
13 to be about 30 minutes, seriously.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Another half hour?
15 MS. BAEN: It's not -- or maybe less. It's not a Mr. Pantelic 30
16 minutes, okay.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: I hope so.
18 MS. BAEN: It's more of a realistic 30 minutes.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Tomorrow we are not sitting. We shall sit on
20 Thursday and Friday morning and afternoon, and Monday we shall not sit
21 because the courtroom will be used by another Trial Chamber. So Thursday,
22 Friday, and then we proceed -- we continue on Tuesday, morning and
23 afternoon sessions. The Court will adjourn.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.03 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
1 October, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.