1 Monday, 15 April 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case Number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecution versus Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic,
9 Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Good afternoon. The Trial Chamber is pleased to
11 continue the proceedings today. We have been joined by Judge Lindholm,
12 who was appointed by the Secretary-General to continue with the trial in
13 this case.
14 I see that we have a witness already. Can the witness make the
15 solemn declaration, please.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Microphone for the witness.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
21 WITNESS: NUSRET HADZIJUSUFOVIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, yes.
24 MR. WEINER: Good afternoon, and welcome, Your Honour.
25 Examined by Mr. Weiner:
1 Q. Would you state your name, please.
2 A. My name is Nusret Hadzijusufovic.
3 Q. And when were you born, sir?
4 A. On the 20th of October, 1947, in Bosanski Samac.
5 Q. Are you married?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you have any children?
8 A. A son and a daughter.
9 Q. Any grandchildren?
10 A. I have two granddaughters and one grandson.
11 Q. How long has your family lived in Bosanski Samac?
12 A. My family is one of the first families who settled in Bosanski
14 Q. Did your father live there?
15 A. Yes, he did.
16 Q. Grandfather?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Great-grandfather?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you have any close family members, close family members, still
21 living there?
22 A. I have two relatives on my father's side.
23 Q. And what about the rest of your relatives? Why aren't they living
24 there any more?
25 A. They were all expelled.
1 Q. Let us go to your educational background. Where did you attend
2 primary school?
3 A. In Bosanski Samac.
4 Q. Did you attend secondary school?
5 A. In Bijeljina.
6 Q. What did you study there, sir?
7 A. I finished schooling for a -- training for a lathe operator. It
8 was a school for vocational training.
9 Q. And after graduation, what did you do for work?
10 A. I worked as a lathe operator in the Mebos factory.
11 Q. And where was the Mebos factory located, sir?
12 A. The Mebos factory was located on Edvard Kardelja Street in
13 Bosanski Samac.
14 Q. What did they do at that company, what sort of work?
15 A. It was a factory producing water heaters and construction
16 trolleys, barrels, and such like.
17 Q. And during what years did you work there on a full-time basis?
18 A. From 1966 until the war.
19 Q. Okay. Did you ever serve in the military, sir?
20 A. I did my military service in 1967, 1968 in Belgrade.
21 Q. Now, sir, are you a member of any ethnic group?
22 A. I'm a Muslim.
23 Q. And do you practice any religion?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Were you a member of any political party?
1 A. I was a member of the League of Communists for 20 years.
2 Q. After you completed that 20-year period with the League of
3 Communists, did you join any other parties?
4 A. Yes, I joined the SDP.
5 Q. Is that the Social Democrat party?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. And how long were you a member of that party?
8 A. Until the war, for four or five years.
9 Q. Was your name ever on the ballot? Was it ever placed on the
10 ballot by the SDP party, meaning the Social Democrat party?
11 A. Yes, I was.
12 Q. In what year?
13 A. Just before the war.
14 Q. Was that 1991 or 1992, if you recall, sir?
15 A. It was at the elections just before the war, in 1992. Sorry,
17 Q. And how did your party do in the election?
18 A. Poorly.
19 Q. Were you ever a member of the SDA party?
20 A. Never.
21 Q. Are you familiar with the SDA party in Bosanski Samac?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know who the president of that party was?
24 A. Sulejman Tihic.
25 Q. Are you familiar with the SDS party?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were you ever a member of that party?
3 A. No, I wasn't.
4 Q. Do you know who the president of that party was in Bosanski Samac?
5 A. Blagoje Simic.
6 Q. Are you familiar with the HDZ party?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were you a member of that party?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And do you know who the president of that party was in Bosanski
12 A. Mato Nujic.
13 Q. Sir, did you ever own a firearm?
14 A. No.
15 Q. A hunting rifle of any kind?
16 A. No.
17 Q. What about a home? Did you own a home in Bosanski Samac?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. And where was your home located?
20 A. On Vuk Karadzic Street, number 14.
21 Q. And who lived with you at your home?
22 A. Myself, my wife, and our two children.
23 Q. Sir, did you have any business also located on that property?
24 A. For six months, six months before the war, my wife became
25 unemployed, and we opened a kabob kiosk.
1 Q. Could you explain to the Chamber what exactly a kabob kiosk is,
3 A. It's a small shop, a small business, that made food, kabobs
4 catering to the citizenry.
5 Q. Sir, having lived your whole life in Bosanski Samac, I'm going to
6 ask you if you know some people. Do you know a man named Simo Zaric?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. How many years or how long have you known Simo Zaric?
9 A. I've known him for 30 years, since primary school.
10 Q. I'd ask you, sir, to look around the courtroom, and can you tell
11 me if you see Simo Zaric in this courtroom.
12 A. It's the man sitting next to the policeman. He's wearing glasses,
13 grey hair, and his -- he looks the same as before.
14 Q. What colour is his suit, if you can tell?
15 A. Black. That man over there.
16 Q. Do you know a man by the name of Miroslav Tadic?
17 A. It's the one with the grey moustache. He looks the same as before
18 the war. He's just a little stouter. The one over here.
19 Q. Do you know a man by the name of Blagoje Simic?
20 A. I know him as a doctor. It's the one with the goatee. He didn't
21 have it before.
22 Q. And is he sitting in this courtroom?
23 A. I see him. It's the one in the middle.
24 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, may the record reflect that all three
25 defendants have been identified by this witness.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 MR. WEINER:
3 Q. Sir, are you familiar with a military unit known as the 4th
5 A. I am.
6 Q. And what exactly was it?
7 A. It was a paramilitary unit.
8 Q. Do you know whether it was tied to any political party?
9 A. It was, to the SDS.
10 Q. And what's the basis of that opinion, sir?
11 A. That's what I saw before the war and during the war.
12 Q. Do you know who organised that unit?
13 A. I know.
14 Q. Who organised the unit?
15 A. Those people sitting here, the people I mentioned before.
16 Q. Are you referring to the defendants?
17 A. Yes, I am.
18 Q. Do you know whether that military unit ever held trainings?
19 A. They did. They held drills near the Bosna River in a place called
20 Sokolusa. They usually set off to those drills from the AS Cafe, and some
21 arrived straight from their homes.
22 Q. During what month, if you recall, what month and year, did these
23 drills, these military drills, take place?
24 A. It was perhaps a month or two before the war. Until the outbreak
25 of the war.
1 Q. So are we talking about from February on, or March on, of 1992?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, you said that on occasion, some of the soldiers came from or
4 would gather and come from the Cafe AS. Do you know who owned the Cafe
6 A. Miroslav Tadic.
7 Q. Did you ever view any of these trainings or drills?
8 A. On a couple of occasions, two or three times, perhaps. Once, I
9 watched from the weekend cottage belonging to the Petic family, once from
10 the embankment.
11 Q. During any of these trainings, were any of the defendants present?
12 A. On one occasion, I saw Tadic.
13 Q. Now, do you know who trained these soldiers?
14 A. They were trained by Mladen Roda.
15 Q. Do you know whether JNA instructors were used during these
17 A. They were not.
18 Q. How do you know that that they weren't JNA soldiers that were
19 serving as instructors?
20 A. I know because I knew the people who were training those men who
21 were moving around. I could see them.
22 Q. The people who were being trained from the 4th Detachment, how
23 were they dressed?
24 A. They were all wearing civilian clothes at the outset, and it was
25 only at a later stage that they started wearing uniforms.
1 Q. Do you know whether the members of the 4th Detachment were being
2 paid prior to the war?
3 A. I know they were.
4 Q. And how do you know that?
5 A. I know because individuals told us around town at the time when
6 enterprises began to fall apart and many people were left unemployed, some
7 of them joined this paramilitary unit in Samac. And after that,
8 individuals would walk around town carrying large amounts of cash. Some
9 of them addressed me personally, including Tota and Ibrahim Fleka. They
10 would say, "Go to Miro and take the money and join us, rather than walk
11 around town, penniless."
12 Q. Do you know a man by the name of Mujo Omeranovic?
13 A. I know him. I know her. It's Simo Zaric's sister, married to
14 Mujaga, Mujo Omeranovic.
15 Q. Do you know where this person lived?
16 A. He's a neighbour of mine.
17 Q. Let us move to the late evening of April 1st, 1992. Did you see
18 Mujo, if I am pronouncing the name right, your neighbour, on the street
19 with some trucks?
20 A. I was coming back home between 10.00 and half past 10.00 from
21 visiting my parents, and on the corner of Vuk Karadzic Street and the
22 Djura Zelkovic [phoen] Street, I saw two trucks, but I was used to seeing
23 some trucks on our street with the drivers. But just after making the
24 turn, I noticed some vehicles outside Rirko's [phoen] house, or rather
25 Stanko's house. I quickened my step, and I noticed that those two trucks
1 -- I noticed those two trucks, and Simo Zaric and Mujuga standing in
2 front of my mother's house, and they were unloading something from the
3 trucks. And I saw another two men standing just beside the truck. I
4 walked towards them hurriedly, and I saw them carrying a case with
5 weapons. Mujo and Simo Zaric were standing right next to Mujo's mother's
6 house. That's the same courtyard. I hurried home, and I told my wife
7 about what I had seen. That was it.
8 Q. These cases, can you describe the size of these cases that they
9 were carrying?
10 A. It was one case carried by two men, and the other cases were on
11 the truck. It was a case about a metre in length, military-type case,
12 rectangular, with two handles made of cord on each side.
13 Q. Have you ever seen cases like that?
14 A. I have.
15 Q. And what are they used for, those types of cases?
16 A. They are used for storing weapons. There was a smaller type of
17 case used usually for Kalashnikov-type rifles.
18 Q. Where were they bringing these cases, as best you could tell?
19 A. They were carrying them towards Mujo's house.
20 Q. Now, do you know a man by the name of Slobodan Kukrika?
21 A. I know him. Four or five days after this thing I mentioned
22 seeing, my next-door neighbour invited me to his house and showed me the
23 rifle that he had got. And he told me, "Look, look at this rifle. I got
24 it from Mujo." I looked at the rifle. It wasn't a rifle of the size that
25 could fit into that case. It was longer. He told me it was a 4, a
1 submachine-gun actually, and he described it to me in detail.
2 Later on, I learned from a couple of my friends including Came,
3 that they, too, had got weapons. I knew about it. Later, when I dug
4 trenches along the fence lines, I heard stories from other men. Because
5 all the weaponry that was issued in Samac was issued out of houses, out of
6 private houses, because at the headquarters of the Territorial Defence,
7 the premises were occupied by a camp, and the headquarters had been moved
8 out. All the weapons had been moved out. I know that building, the
9 headquarters, because I went there for drills, and I entered the storage
10 room on occasion.
11 Q. Let's just go back a little bit. You said you knew Slobodan
12 Kukrika, who got the gun. Where does he live in relation to you?
13 A. Next door to me.
14 Q. So when you say your next-door neighbour got a gun from Mujo, are
15 you talking about Slobodan Kukrika?
16 A. Right.
17 Q. And that was five days after you saw those boxes being delivered
18 to Muja's house?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, do you know whether Mr. Kukrika was a member of any military
21 unit in Bosanski Samac?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Do you know whether he was a member of the 4th detachment?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Was he a soldier?
1 A. He was.
2 Q. Now --
3 A. He was a member of the 4th detachment during the war, but I don't
4 know about before the war.
5 Q. Now, so this Mr. Kukrika who received the Kalishnikov was a member
6 of the 4th detachment during the war; you mean in April of 1992?
7 A. From the first day onwards.
8 Q. Now, these other persons who told you that they received weapons,
9 do you know what, if any, military unit they belonged to during the war,
10 in April of 1992?
11 A. They were all belonged to the 4th detachment. While prior to the
12 war, they didn't participate. I only knew who was standing in front of
13 Cafe AS, who were those who went and attended the military training as I
14 saw it.
15 Q. On what street was Miroslav Tadic's Cafe AS located in Bosanski
17 A. In the Edvard Kardelja Street.
18 Q. Where was that located in relation to your home and your place of
19 work at the Mebos company?
20 A. That was in the same street as the factory company Mebos. And as
21 far as my home is concerned, it was some 300, 400 metres from it.
22 Q. And how did you get to work each day, to the Mebos company, from
23 your home?
24 A. I went from my home passing the hospital, Cafe AS. There's a
25 crossroads before the Cafe AS, and then straight to Mebos company. From
1 1966 to the beginning of the war, the same direction, the same movements.
2 Q. And when you said you passed it, did you walk each day, or did you
3 drive passed these places?
4 A. I didn't have a car. I usually walked, and occasionally I used a
6 Q. Did you ever patronise the Cafe AS?
7 A. Well, occasionally, when I ended my second shift.
8 Q. When was that, what time?
9 A. That was approximately from 8.00 to 10.00 p.m., around 10.00 p.m.
10 Q. Let us go to the first week of April of 1992. And did you notice
11 anything as you walked past the Cafe AS, as you went to and from work?
12 A. That cafe, prior to the war, had a good turnover, always packed
13 with patrons, always full of people whom I saw later in the 4th
14 detachment, who were commanders of the 4th detachment later. 90 per cent
15 or 99 per cent of them were members of the 4th Detachment.
16 Q. Now, are you familiar with the SIT company?
17 A. SIT company is located on the other side of the road of the cafe,
18 and immediately after the outbreak of the war, everybody moved to the SIT
19 company, members of the 4th Detachment.
20 Q. What sort of work was done at the SIT company, if you know, prior
21 to the war?
22 A. Also my wife worked at producing knitwear, sweaters, T-shirts. It
23 was a textile industry.
24 Q. How was it used after the war started?
25 A. It was used for military purposes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. By whom?
2 A. It was used by the very same people who were in the 4th
3 Detachment, the people who congregated in the AS cafe.
4 Q. How, what happened to all the equipment that had been in that
5 company, in that cafe -- I'm sorry, in the SIT company?
6 A. The equipment was moved to the neighbouring factory, Tekstilac,
7 which produced apparel. But they didn't have similar type of production,
8 so everything was moved from this factory to the factory Tekstilac, very
9 close by in the same street of Edvard Kardelja.
10 Q. Do you know who moved the equipment from the SIT company?
11 A. We moved it. We, who were mobilised to do forced labour. I
12 didn't participate in that, but while working in Tekstilac, I saw Marijan
13 Toravic [phoen], a man with a bypass, the director for economic issues.
14 And he was forced to work in the moving of this equipment. He was in
15 forced labour.
16 Q. Now, when you say a man with a bypass, can you explain what you
17 mean by that?
18 A. Well, that such a person with -- so sick, he was forced to do such
19 heavy labour, physical labour.
20 Q. When you say he had a bypass, do you mean a heart bypass surgery?
21 Is that what you're talking about?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, do you know a man by the name of Nizam Ramusovic, nicknamed
25 A. Yes, yes, quite well. That was a labourer who worked in the
1 municipal company. And he was among the first of the 4th
2 Detachment -- members of the 4th Detachment. He was also visited Cafe AS.
3 He was a person who was a loafer, and a person who for money switched
4 and joined the 4th Detachment. He was from Samac. I knew him quite well.
5 Q. Was he an intelligent man?
6 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honours, calling for speculation.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness did say he knew him?
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, but Your Honours, the category of intelligence
9 is something which is rather very broad. So maybe even an expert can be
10 in a hard position to give the opinion of someone, whether he's
11 intelligent or not.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Perhaps Mr. Weiner can ask his witness,
13 if he still insists, by what standards.
14 MR. WEINER: I'll withdraw the question.
15 Q. Do you know whether he was involved in a shooting, sir?
16 A. May I, Your Honour? That was a person who used to fight, a person
17 who abandoned his family completely, a person who excessively drank
18 alcohol, and a person you could name a number of names.
19 Q. Okay. Sir, prior to the military take of Bosanski Samac, was
20 Nizam Ramusovic involved in a shooting of some kind?
21 A. Yes. Nizam Ramusovic, Mirsad Mersad, and a person by the name of
22 Danilo, a few days before the outbreak of war, were in a car and were
23 driving drunk, and they passed through my street three times. They were
24 shooting out of the windows of the car. And throughout the day, they were
25 doing that throughout the town. Then, as dusk, one could hear in my
1 street a lot of weapon fire. I ran out of my house. I could see people
2 gathering. I could see people were congregating in front of Esad's house.
3 I also ran to see what happened. I saw Tota, who was lying wounded on the
4 street near the market. Then I saw Mirsa Mersad, who was also wounded.
5 Danilo was in the neighbouring street at the corner in the car, and
6 nobody, nobody of us present, didn't go and try to help them. Because we
7 all knew these people, everybody knew what they were doing throughout that
8 day. Then a policeman came out, a policeman called Crni, and he used
9 firearms. With a burst of fire, he did that to them. There was Cabasko
10 from the 4th Detachment. Later on, two Lukic's, Nenad and Predo, came.
11 They all came but nobody helped them. My neighbour Sabanovic from the
12 same street had a [unintelligible] automobile, and he then collected them,
13 placed them in the car, and took them to hospital.
14 Q. Okay. Let's take a step back. Let me ask you a few questions on
15 this. When you got there, you see two men lying on the street.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And one was Tota and one was Mersad?
18 A. Yes, Mersad.
19 Q. Were these men armed with any weapons?
20 A. Yes. Yes, both of them had Kalishnikovs.
21 Q. And Kalishnikov is an automatic rifle?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, were these persons already injured?
24 A. Yes, they were.
25 Q. Had these men been shot by the policeman prior to you arriving or
1 did the policeman shoot them after you arrived?
2 A. Prior to my arrival.
3 Q. So they were lying there, and then one of your neighbours,
4 Fadil Sabanovic, took them to a hospital?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Had you ever seen prior to that day Tota and Mersad together?
7 A. Yes, I did, in front of the Cafe AS. Yes, I did. They were quite
9 Q. Let's move to the morning hours of April 17th, the day of the
10 takeover. Can you tell us where you were in those early morning hours,
11 around 2.00 a.m.
12 A. I was in my home with my wife and two children. We heard a lot of
13 noise. My wife and I, we went out of the room, went to the attic, and we
14 could see that in the Vuk Karadzic Street, there was nothing. In the
15 other street, we could see two tanks. I took my wife's hand. I said to
16 go down. Then she shouted back, "Come and see." She said, "Soldiers are
17 coming." And I said, "Come down." We could hear a lot of rifle fire from
18 the Ministry of Interior, and other arms fire. I called my wife and then
19 we went downstairs. Then after 10, 15 minutes, we could hear an
20 explosion. Again, we went up to the attic. I moved the tile, roof tile,
21 and I could see the elementary school on fire. We went down to the room,
22 and I said to my wife, "The war has begun. What will we do? What will be
23 with me? What will be with us, with our children? May God help us."
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, just one clarification.
1 17.11, it says, "We could hear a lot of rifle fire from the Ministry of
2 the Interior." I believe the witness had said the police station. But if
3 my learned colleague can clarify this with the witness, please.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
5 MR. WEINER: Sure, thank you.
6 MR. PANTELIC: And Your Honour, if I may.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
8 MR. PANTELIC: It was "Mr. Zecevic" in transcript. There's a
9 reference it was me but -- well. Page 17 -- line 17 and 18, just
10 intervention in transcript. You said, "Yes, Mr. Pantelic."
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It will be corrected.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Zecevic, and then his answer was --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic, actually.
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. Okay, sir. Mr. Zecevic had a question. When you said you could
16 hear rifle fire from the direction of -- did you say the Ministry of the
17 Interior or did you mean the police station, the SUP? Which building
18 could you hear the rifle fire from?
19 A. From the -- from that direction, namely the two buildings are one
20 in proximity of the other, but it was from the direction of the police
21 station. Yes, the police station, SUP.
22 Q. Now, did you make any telephone calls at that time, sir?
23 A. No.
24 Q. During --
25 A. My wife called her mother in order to ask what is happening there,
1 what was happening? Well, she was rather afraid, so we were all rather
2 afraid. And then my wife invited her to come and stay with us. And that
3 is what she did, in fact. But I did not go.
4 Q. Now, did you ever see any soldiers during those morning hours?
5 A. Yes, I have. I saw many soldiers who were moving in my street,
6 one in one direction; the others in the other direction. Of these, I knew
7 many of them, but also quite a few were not from Samac.
8 Q. Did you leave the house at any time during those early morning
10 A. I did not leave my house. I left -- I went out at 9.00, when two
11 soldiers arrived with insignia of the white eagles. One came up to me and
12 he asked me whether I have weapons. I said no. Then he asked me for my
13 ID. I took it out. He -- I showed it to him, and then they both left.
14 Q. And where did this occur?
15 A. That happened in my courtyard, in the early morning hours of that
17 Q. Now, did you go beyond your courtyard? Did you go out to the
18 streets during that morning?
19 A. No. That day, we did not go out on the street at all.
20 Q. Now, during those first few days after the takeover, did you
21 listen to the radio at all?
22 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. I think the Prosecution
23 should avoid the term "takeover." This notion is under question mark, I
24 think. It's a matter for the --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
1 MR. PANTELIC: So my point, Mr. Weiner can rephrase the issue and
2 take care about that in future.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we have been using that same term since
5 September of 2001.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic has now reviewed the evidence
7 since the break, and he is putting it on record that it shouldn't be
8 described as a "takeover," for obvious reasons. I think we can stick
9 to "the conflict."
10 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely, Your Honour. That was my intention.
11 MR. WEINER: Okay.
12 Q. Now, during those first few days of the conflict, did you and your
13 family listen to the radio?
14 A. Yes, I have.
15 Q. What did you hear?
16 A. That our forces, that the Serbian forces liberated Bosanski Samac,
17 and that after a long period of time, the Serbian nation has obtained its
18 freedom. And this was accompanied by battle marches and other patriotic
19 songs and so on.
20 Q. Patriotic songs of what nationality, if you know?
21 A. Well, patriotic and nationalistic songs of the Serbian peoples.
22 Q. Now, did they say who they liberated the city from?
23 A. The city was liberated of the green berets and the Ustashas.
24 Q. Well, prior to that, those early morning hours when you saw the
25 tanks, had you ever seen any green berets or Croatian troops in the city?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Had you ever heard of green berets or Croatian troops taking over
3 the town?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were you able to go to and from work freely prior to that day?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Sir, did you ever return to your job at the Mebos company after
8 the conflict began?
9 A. On the second day, when there was no more shooting, the fire died
10 down, I went to my company. I stayed a few hours and I was told that, due
11 to security reasons, we should return to our respective homes. The day
12 after that, I also went to the companies, but the custodian at the gate of
13 the company said that there would be no activity in the company as long as
14 the situation was not stablised, and that we should stay at home up until
16 Q. During those two days that you went to your company, the Mebos
17 company, how did you get there? By vehicle? On foot? By bicycle? How
18 did you get there?
19 A. I walked it, as I did in the past, but on this occasion, I saw
20 many soldiers, known people, unknown people. I saw a big rally of people
21 in front of the Cafe AS. They seemed to be enjoying themselves, happy.
22 They were all in military uniform. They were all -- had arms. They had
23 weapons there on the street, all those people that I had been seeing also
25 Q. Did you know a man at the time by the name of Jusuf Subasic?
1 A. He was a colleague of mine from -- he worked in the same company.
2 And two days after, he came to me, to my courtyard, and he told me, "From
3 today onwards, I'm the one who will be informing you about your labour
4 assignments. You and your sons should report -- should report tomorrow
5 morning at 6.30." And that is what I was doing, and he was informing me
6 up until the day that I was imprisoned.
7 Q. Now, prior to starting the labour, did you have to go to the TO,
8 Territorial Defence building?
9 A. On that day, he told me to report to the Territorial Defence
10 headquarters vis-a-vis the police station. There was quite a number of
11 people, quite a number of Muslims and Catholics. We were entering one by
12 one, a column. A young person was sitting at the table. I didn't know
13 him. He took our names, surnames, and we then had to sign. After that,
14 we left. But next to him was also standing another person in uniform.
15 Everybody was in uniform except us who were standing in line. We were
16 also told that we were to wear white armbands, all the Muslims and
17 Catholics who signed up, and that we wear these all the time. When I
18 returned home, the same Subasic Jusuf came and informed us that the next
19 day, my son should report, and myself, in front of the factory Buducnost,
20 and to report to -- It was in the same street, Edvarda Kardelja, next to
21 my company. He didn't tell us why we should come and report.
22 Q. All right. Let's go back.
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Sorry, Mr. Weiner. I wonder whether line 13 of
24 page 22, factory Buducnost and report to -- and we have a blank. Could
25 you ask the witness to give the name again, please.
1 MR. WEINER:
2 Q. Sir, the courier told you that you had to go to the Buducnost
3 company and report to -- was there a certain individual you had to report
5 A. The courier came to my garden, that we report in front of the
6 company Buducnost the next day.
7 Q. Okay. He didn't tell you that you had to report to a certain
8 person at that company?
9 A. No.
10 Q. All right.
11 Let us go back to the visit to the TO building. Who went to the
12 TO? Did you go with your son on that date?
13 A. Yes, we went there.
14 Q. And you had to register your name or put your name on a list of
15 some kind, sir?
16 A. Yes. I signed -- I signed next to where my name and surname were
17 typed. That was I, myself, and then my son.
18 Q. And people of what ethnic group had to register?
19 A. Only Muslims and Catholics.
20 Q. Did you see any Serbs registering?
21 A. No.
22 Q. And they told you that you had to wear an armband, a white armband
23 of some kind?
24 A. Yes, they did.
25 Q. And how did you feel about having to wear a white armband?
1 A. Well, I felt the same as Jews must have felt during the Second
2 World War, and I looked at my son and realised he was feeling the same
3 way. We both were very sad.
4 Q. And people of what ethnic group had to wear the white armbands?
5 A. Only Muslims and Catholics.
6 Q. Now, the next day, did you report to the Buducnost factory?
7 A. My son and I reported that day, wearing white armbands. We were
8 standing in the yard of the Buducnost factory and the entire group
9 consisted of Muslims and Catholics only. Do you want me to continue?
10 Q. Sure. And these Muslims and Catholics that were at the Buducnost
11 factory, were they wearing white armbands?
12 A. All of them.
13 Q. Now, were there any Serbs there?
14 A. There were Serbs, including Simo Zaric, but they were standing
15 next to the building. There were five or six of them standing right next
16 to the building of the Buducnost factory, but not with our group. And
17 then, a truck passed by and came to a halt. A young man came out of the
18 truck. I didn't know him. And he cursed our mothers, and he told us
19 "I'll show you all," using a swear word. "Let Igor Rukavina come out."
20 This man, Igor Rukavina, was standing perhaps a few steps away from me.
21 He was wearing an armband, a white armband, the same as I. This man
22 grabbed him by the arm and took him away. And those commanders of theirs,
23 Simo Zaric and the others, were standing nearby and watching, but nobody
24 did anything about it. I covered my eyes with my hand and didn't see how
25 it ended.
1 Q. Now --
2 A. Another man came out whom I didn't know.
3 Q. Please continue. Tell us what happened.
4 A. Later on, a man came out by the name Jovica. I knew him. He was
5 standing next to the Lukic house. I didn't hear what he was saying. I
6 just looked at my child and thought "Is it possible that something like
7 this is happening in our times?" I looked at the faces of the others, and
8 I thought they didn't know either what was going to become of them, just
9 as those Jews. I'm really speechless. I have no words to describe it.
10 Q. This Jovica, did he address the crowd?
11 A. He addressed this group. He started making a speech, but I really
12 couldn't bear to listen. He was saying something like everything was
13 going to be all right, and so on and so forth.
14 Q. Now, you indicated that there was a group of Muslims and Croatians
15 standing in one group, and there was a group of Serbs. Where were they in
16 relation to the group of Muslims and Croatians?
17 A. In front of us. Six men were standing in front of us, including
18 Simo Zaric, who was wearing a military uniform. He wasn't saying
19 anything. He was just standing there.
20 Q. Were they facing you?
21 A. Yes, they were.
22 Q. Now, after Jovica finishing speaking -- how long did he speak?
23 For how long, sir?
24 A. All of it lasted for no more than an hour.
25 Q. What happened after it finished?
1 A. We went our separate ways. We went home. One group went to
2 perform labour, including my son. They were to dig bunkers in the
3 direction of the Bosna River. My son came back home late. That same day,
4 a young man by the name of Nurkic got killed. His year of birth was
5 1977. He was the son of Galib Nurkic. He was killed while digging
7 Q. Was he one of the labourers that were digging bunkers or trenches
8 with your son?
9 A. He was digging right next to my son. He was digging bunkers,
10 bunkers were the first thing that had to be built at the time.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Weiner, I wonder if you could find out from
12 the witness what was the age of his son at the time.
13 MR. WEINER:
14 Q. Could you tell us the age of your son, sir, at that time? What
15 was your son's date of birth?
16 A. My son was born on the 8th of March, 1971. At the time, he was
17 studying at the machine engineering faculty in Sarajevo, in the second
19 Q. Okay.
20 Now, you go home. What happens next? Do you see Jusuf Subasic
21 next with your assignment, or do you know when to report? What happens?
22 A. Subasic, Jusuf Subasic, came and told us that the next day at
23 6.00, we should report at the yard of the home for the elderly, the
24 pensioners' home, for a labour action which eventually lasted until the
25 24th of December without a break.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. When he told you to report, was that a request, or was that an
3 A. It was an order.
4 Q. The next day, what did you and your son do?
5 A. We reported outside the pensioners' home at 6.00, and we were
6 waiting to be given a schedule, an assignment, where we were supposed to
8 Q. Were there any other people there?
9 A. There were many of us, over a hundred.
10 Q. Were these only men, or were there women, too?
11 A. Men and women.
12 Q. Of what ethnic group?
13 A. Muslims and Catholics only.
14 Q. And were they wearing anything on their arms?
15 A. We were all wearing white armbands.
16 Q. So what happens? There's a whole group of you out there.
17 A. We were waiting to be given our work assignments. My first
18 assignment on the first day was to go to Grebnica and dig bunkers. Shall
19 I continue?
20 Q. Sure. Tell us about -- how did you get there, first, to Grebnica?
21 A. They loaded us into a truck and drove us to the Tovirac village,
22 perhaps a kilometre away from the first front line. And then we walked
23 straight to the front line and we did our digging at the front line. I
24 dug bunkers at first, and then I covered them. They brought wooden
25 platforms for rails and we used them to cover the bunkers. And I
1 emphasise, this was right at the front line. And then later, I covered
2 the bunker with earth and camouflaged it with grass and shrubs so it
3 cannot be distinguished from the background from a distance. It was the
4 front line. You could expect a bullet to hit you at any moment.
5 Q. Sir, let's talk about this front line. Could you see soldiers
6 while you were out there digging?
7 A. The soldiers were standing right next to us, and they were
8 watching. A soldier was watching me until I finished my work. He was
9 lying down on the ground so that he could not be seen. When one bunker
10 was finished, when I and my group finished digging, because we didn't
11 dig alone, there were 10 or 15 of us, then the soldier would get into it.
12 But they were very insolent soldiers who actually shot at us while we
13 were digging, because I was standing above them. They were shooting at
14 us, and we begged them not to do that. And we could also be seen from the
15 other side, because we were above. We were standing higher.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] I have to object to the
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] It says, "There were solders
20 shooting on us." This is not exactly what the witness stated. It says
21 they were shooting but not on them. So it is my understanding that in
22 this transcript it seems that soldiers were shooting on people who
23 performed working assignments. So if my colleague could clarify that.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think the Prosecution will clarify with the
1 MR. WEINER: Yes.
2 Q. Sir, while you were working, you said that there were soldiers
3 near you. Let's just take it one step at a time. Of what ethnic group
4 with these soldiers who were near you?
5 A. All of the soldiers were members of the 4th Detachment. All --
6 and I knew them all. In terms of ethnicity, they were Serbs and a couple
7 of Muslims who had joined the detachment. I knew them all personally.
8 Q. Okay. Now, while you were digging -- all right, actually, let me
9 take a step back from that. Were there soldiers facing them on the other
10 side? Was there another army facing the 4th Detachment?
11 A. Yes, there were.
12 Q. Could you see those soldiers?
13 A. We couldn't see them, but we could see from which direction
14 shooting was coming.
15 Q. Tell us about the shooting. Was there shooting going on while you
16 were out there digging trenches?
17 A. Yes, there was.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, I wonder whether we could clarify page
19 29, lines 2 and 3: "We couldn't see them, but we could see from which
20 direction shooting was coming." Could we know who -- what ethnic
21 background the "them" are and from which direction the shooting was
23 MR. WEINER:
24 Q. You heard the Judge's question. You've got the 4th Detachment
25 over here. You are down in front of them digging trenches. Who was on
1 the other side?
2 A. On the other side, facing them, that's Grebnica village, were
3 Catholics, people defending their villages.
4 Q. When you say "Catholics," you mean --
5 A. And that was the HVO army.
6 Q. You mean the Croatian army?
7 A. No, not the Croatian army, but the troops of those local Croats.
8 Q. Okay. So are you -- sorry.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
10 MR. PANTELIC: One intervention. The witness said in line 21,
11 "after the local war," he added "HVO," which means "Croatian Defence
12 council," and it was not in transcript.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner, please clarify that.
14 MR. WEINER:
15 Q. Yes, sir. We just need a clarification for the transcript. Sorry
16 about that. The troops that were involved in the shooting on the Grebnica
17 side, was that local Croatian troops or local Croatian troops plus HVO?
18 A. Those were local soldiers, people defending their own homes, but
19 they had a name.
20 Q. Okay. And what was the name of those local soldiers or the group
21 that they were from, these Bosnian Croatians?
22 A. I learned about it later. It was the HVO, the Croatian defence
23 council, but I found out about that later.
24 Q. Okay. Now, there are two armies, and you're out there digging
25 trenches. Where are you located in relation to the two armies?
1 A. I was straight at the trenches of the 4th Detachment.
2 Q. And as you are digging, you are standing. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And are there any barriers or any sort of equipment to protect you
5 from shooting?
6 A. There was nothing.
7 Q. And was there shooting going on?
8 A. The people for whom I was digging trenches were shooting across at
9 the other trenches. And shooting was coming from the other side as well,
10 so at any moment, any of us could have been killed. I will tell you
11 later, if you ask me, about a man who was wounded while he was standing
12 right next to me.
13 Q. Okay. Let's -- we'll get to that.
14 Now, so you're standing between the firing. How did you feel at
15 that time?
16 A. How can a man feel if he can get killed at any moment? It was
17 certainly unpleasant, and it was also very hard manual labour.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour. I would
20 like one clarification. The witness kept saying that he was actually
21 digging the trenches on the spot where the 4th Detachment was placed. And
22 my learned colleague is insisting that the witness has been between the
23 two firing sides. Whether we can really clarify this, because as my
24 learned colleague has put it, and it's in the transcript right now in
25 31.3, it appears that the trenches were dug and there was a shooting from
1 behind their back and shooting from the other side as well. I would just
2 ask for a clarification, please. Thank you.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer this question?
5 MR. WEINER: Sure, go ahead.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Occasionally, we were digging
8 trenches exactly at the place where the soldiers were standing, but I also
9 went in front, outside the trenches, to make a clearing so they can see
10 better, to cut grass. When I went forward in front of the trenches, I
11 was actually standing between the two sides on all the three locations
12 where I worked.
13 MR. WEINER:
14 Q. How many people were with you digging those trenches?
15 A. There were 10 or 15 men at all times.
16 Q. Of what ethnic group were the people that were digging the
18 A. They were 90 per cent Muslim, and a couple of Catholics who hadn't
19 been locked up yet.
20 Q. Were there any Serbs out there digging trenches?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Were the people who were digging trenches wearing armbands?
23 A. We were all wearing armbands from the moment when we gathered
24 outside the Buducnost factory until the end, and we had to wear them all
25 the time.
1 Q. When you say "we," what ethnic groups had to wear the armbands?
2 A. Muslims and Catholics.
3 Q. Now, what hours did you work on that first day? What hours were
4 you out there digging trenches?
5 A. From 6.00, when we would report, they would take us out at 7.00 or
6 8.00 in the morning, and then we worked until 6.00 p.m.
7 Q. Okay. And during those 11 to 12 hours that you were there, did
8 they feed you any meals?
9 A. Two slices of bread and a piece of something from a tin can in
10 between, and the ration was the same on all days when I did the digging.
11 There was nothing more than that. I don't think the soldiers fared much
12 better in that respect.
13 Q. Was that a sufficient meal for you, for the workers?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now, was there anyone guarding you prisoners? I shouldn't say
16 "prisoners." Was there anyone guarding you workers?
17 A. Whenever I went out to work, we were always accompanied by
18 Mila Pancir. He was the one guarding us always. He had some sort of old
19 sniper rifle, and he would always stand by and tell us stories and brag
20 that he had killed a couple of people. But he was always the one who took
21 us out to do the digging.
22 Q. On the first day, was your son with you while you were digging on
23 those front lines?
24 A. My son was not together with me. He had a different assignment,
25 digging at Brvnik. That is a different location on the same line, also
1 the front line.
2 Q. Now, let's go to the next day. Did you go to the retirement home
3 in the morning?
4 A. Yes, of course.
5 Q. And what happens on that next day?
6 A. All the days were the same then. We would always report, wait to
7 be given a work assignment, get on to a truck, and go to work.
8 Q. And what time did you get to the retirement home the next day?
9 A. At 6.00.
10 Q. And where were you assigned? Where did they send you on that
12 A. The first ten days, my job was to dig those trenches at Grebnica.
13 Q. And how did you get there during those next nine days?
14 A. Always the same way. They would drive us to Tovirac village, and
15 from there on we would walk to the front line. We would dig again, also
16 trenches, but a bit further away. Some people were digging bunkers, and
17 other people yet were digging connecting trenches leading to those
18 bunkers. When we were -- when we ran out of rails, we cut trees. We
19 felled trees, and we covered the bunkers with that. But the job was the
20 same essentially.
21 Q. Could you explain that. What do you mean, "when we ran out of
22 rails"? What did you do with rails and what type of rails are you talking
24 A. We are actually talking about the wooden planks on which you set
25 rails when you are building a railroad. We ran out of those, so we
1 started cutting trees. And we put those trees on top of the bunker. Our
2 job was to cut a tree, carry it on your shoulders to the bunker, lay it on
3 top, cover it with earth, and the rest.
4 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, would you like to break there.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we shall take our break for half an hour and
6 continue the proceedings at 16.15 hours.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner, the Prosecution continues.
10 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
11 Q. Sir, as we left off, you were out digging bunkers on the front
12 lines for the next nine days. You worked there the first day, and then
13 for the next nine days. And during those nine days, what hours were you
14 out there digging bunkers?
15 A. Well, it was just the same from the first day. At 6.00 in the
16 morning, I go to the retirement home. Then we go by truck. We go to the
17 location at Tovirac village, and the same type of work.
18 Q. What time would you finish?
19 A. Approximately at 6.00 p.m.
20 Q. And what time would you get home?
21 A. I needed about an hour to come home.
22 Q. And on those -- on each of those ten days, how many meals did you
23 receive a day during that 13-hour period?
24 A. It was the same meal, the same type of meal, and it was one meal.
25 Q. And once again, please describe what that meal was.
1 A. Two pieces of bread, and inside, some tin food product. It was
2 pate, tinned pate, and that was it.
3 Q. Did they give you any coffee breaks during the day?
4 A. Well, when the shooting broke out, then we all had to go and
6 Q. Okay. Now, during these ten days that you were working - you
7 mentioned the first day - but during the next nine days, was there much
8 gunfire while you worked?
9 A. On these locations, when I was working at Grebnica and the other
10 locations, there was always gunfire.
11 Q. And from which side was the gunfire coming?
12 A. From both sides, you know. These from where we were digging, they
13 were shooting but also gunfire came also from the other side.
14 Q. And did you have to work during the gunfire?
15 A. I worked.
16 Q. Now, you said on occasion, you had some breaks when the shooting
17 broke out. What sort of shooting was that? Was that artillery fire? Was
18 that just basic gunfire? When did they stop you from working?
19 A. Well, there was both an artillery fire or also basic gunfire. And
20 we had to find shelter, and all who were on the front line, they -- the
21 shooting would break out. It wasn't heavy artillery fire, it was maybe
22 tremblants. But this was happening in Grebnica. And in Tutensenavac
23 [phoen], it was different.
24 Q. Sir, you said it wasn't heavy gunfire. It was maybe something.
25 The transcript didn't pick up what you indicated. Was there another type
1 of artillery fire?
2 A. When I was digging, yes. When I was digging in Jeskovac [phoen],
3 in Brvnik. In Jeskovac, there was a tank which was located along the
4 first front line. And there was a tank and a Praga tank. And this was
5 real, real artillery fire with grenades falling and shelling all over.
6 Q. That was later at those other locations, not during the first ten
7 days. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, when the gunfire was occurring, where were you standing?
10 A. Usually, mostly I was above the trench or above the bunker.
11 Q. Would you describe this as dangerous work?
12 A. Yes, I would.
13 Q. Was it hard work?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How did you feel at the end of the day?
16 A. I was very tired and miserable.
17 Q. Why were you miserable?
18 A. Well, I was thinking of my child. I was always thinking of my
19 children. There was my child who was also doing the same work. You know,
20 I wasn't thinking so much of myself, but the fact was I could have been
21 killed any moment.
22 Q. Now, during that first ten days, was anyone that was working with
23 you injured?
24 A. During the first ten days, I mentioned that Nurkic that was close
25 to River Bosna. But in these locations where we were, no.
1 Q. When Galib Nurkic was killed while digging trenches on the front
2 line, that was while digging trenches with your son?
3 A. That's right, along the banks of Bosna River. I've mentioned
5 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that Mile, whose nickname was Pancir,
6 was with you during the digging?
7 A. Always.
8 Q. And was he some sort of supervisor or guard, or what was his
10 A. Well, he would supervise, and he would also issue orders what to
11 do, where we were to dig. You were supposed to dig such and such,
12 trenches or a bunker should be dug out here and here.
13 Q. Was he in uniform?
14 A. Always.
15 Q. And you said he was armed?
16 A. He was always armed. He had a sniper rifle.
17 Q. Okay. Now, do you know a man by the name of Stojan Blagojevic?
18 A. A colleague who worked with me on the same machine in the company
20 Q. Did you ever see him during the war, sir?
21 A. He was nonstop in front of the building of the retired people, and
22 he always needed somebody who would work for him. He was in uniform,
23 always armed like Mile, except that he had a Kalishnikov -- and he always
24 needed workers, either for looting or other needs.
25 Q. Was he also a supervisor of the labourers?
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Now, sir, you told us that you worked from a short time after the
3 conflict, so we'll say in April of 1992, through December of 1992. Could
4 you tell us by category, if we could do this, what type of work you
5 performed, what type of work that you were ordered to perform?
6 A. Except for digging trenches, I also worked on many other jobs.
7 But all these other jobs related to looting. I visited Tramosnica,
8 Vranica, Dubica, Srpska Tisina, Hrvatska Tisina, Novo Selo. I worked
9 there and I performed various jobs.
10 Q. All right. Let's try and discuss some of these jobs. You
11 mentioned you dug trenches at Grebnica, and then you also mentioned that
12 you dug trenches at Lijeskovica and Brvnik. Could you tell us what you
13 did at those places, Lijeskovica and Brvnik?
14 A. In Lijeskovica, I also dug trenches. Then I had to mow grass
15 around the trenches. That was an important and dangerous front line. And
16 then we would make covers for the bunkers. But soldiers were not from
17 Samac. But they weren't in the same command. These were soldiers from
18 Krajina. I would dig for them trenches, but I had to go in front of the
19 bunkers -- trenches. The trenches were low. And I had to mow, mow, and
20 remove the grass. And in Grasnica, you had a dike. So we also had
21 trenches and bunkers between buildings. There was a tank behind one
22 building, and then after another one, a Praga cannon, or something
23 similar, a similar type of arm. It was much more difficult than in
24 Grebnica. It was more difficult for digging, for work. So we were
25 brought in. We were brought in again by Mile. He shows us what we would
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 do, where to dig. But here, it was more dangerous for our lives.
2 Q. Was there shooting while you were out there digging and building
3 these bunkers?
4 A. Yes, there was shooting going on nonstop. It was real shooting.
5 Q. What do you mean by "real shooting"?
6 A. Here, there was nonstop exchange of fire from both sides, and we
7 had mortar fire, then rifle exchange of fire. There was too much
8 ammunition, too many arms, or maybe it was done out of fear. And the
9 front line was -- were quite close here.
10 Q. And how many days did you spend at these other locations,
11 locations other than Grebnica, digging trenches?
12 A. Most of the period of this forced labour, I spent in digging
13 trenches, in digging, be it in the first, second, or third location.
14 Q. But how long did you spend? Did you spend a few days, a few
15 weeks, a few months? How long a period did you spend doing this?
16 A. Well, I worked five days, then I had a break of a month, and then
17 I'd be returned to the same location. That's -- it wasn't that I worked
18 in continuity. After Grebnica, then I would go immediately to other
19 locations. There would be a break, and then I would go back to Grebnica.
20 I didn't know exactly where I would be sent up until the moment
21 they told me where to go.
22 Q. Let me ask you this: The persons who did this work, this trench
23 digging during the gunfire, of what ethnic group were they?
24 A. Well, Catholics were -- 90 per cent were arrested. And 90 per
25 cent were Muslims. So maybe there was equal. Maybe two or three Croats
1 in all.
2 Q. Were there any Serbs out there working, digging these trenches,
3 making these bunkers?
4 A. Never, never.
5 Q. How many men would be on one of these assignments working with
7 A. Always between 10 and 15. Between 10 and 15.
8 Q. Was anyone ever injured from this gunfire in Lijeskovica or
10 A. Some 2 metres from me, maybe a bit more, Bobic was wounded, Bobic,
11 the son of Salem. And he was injured -- wounded in the thigh. He was a
12 bit bent, and he was wounded. They came with the car to pick him up. And
13 I met him a few years later. He told me that they took him to the
14 hospital in Brcko and after that he was exchanged.
15 Q. Did you volunteer for this work?
16 A. Never.
17 Q. Did you want to do this work, this digging of trenches?
18 A. No, no.
19 Q. Did anyone that you know of volunteer for this work?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did anyone want to do it?
22 A. No.
23 Q. How did you feel about doing this work?
24 A. Well, it was hard, physical labour, and I felt miserable. I felt
25 humiliated. One cannot feel well.
1 Q. Sir, did you ever do any type of agriculture or farming-type work?
2 A. Yes. I was sent to work in the field kitchen for Serbian soldiers
3 in Serbian Tisina. There was seven of us. And we received an assignment
4 from one of the soldiers, one of the foremen. He took us to the Catholic
5 Hrvatska Tisina village. Then there was no Catholics there any more,
6 cleansed. We were asked to harvest potatoes, tomatoes, whatever was
7 needed for the field kitchen for their soldiers.
8 Q. Did you do that harvesting, picking of vegetables, fruit, in the
10 A. Yes, that is what we were doing: picking the vegetables,
11 tomatoes, potatoes, onions, whatever was needed in order to prepare meals,
12 to cook food, from that -- the gardens surrounding the houses and also
13 from the fields. Wherever they found the locations where there were these
14 produce, they told us to go and we would pick it.
15 Q. And you said you did this in Hrvatska Tisina. Is that within the
16 municipality of Bosanski Samac?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Now, when you did this, when you went to these locations to pick,
19 was there a supervisor or a guard, or was there someone with you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And do you recall who was with you?
22 A. Todorovic, that was the surname. But it's the first building on
23 the left near the bridge when you move through Korpara. I know when we
24 would pick these vegetables, we were also asked to loot certain houses for
25 certain objects. And we would take that to him. I didn't know this man
1 before the war.
2 Q. All right. Let's take a step back. When you started this work,
3 this farming-type work, did you begin your day in Bosanski Samac at the
4 retirement home?
5 A. No, no.
6 Q. Where did you begin your day?
7 A. From my home, I went in the same direction. I passed the home of
8 Mustafa Smajic. Then I crossed the railroad station, and we had to appear
9 at the same -- in the same location.
10 Q. Now, did someone tell you to go to that location?
11 A. I was told that on the first day, when I was told to go and work
12 there, that -- I was told that in front of the pensioners' building.
13 Q. Now, you went to Hrvatska Tisina after you were told to go there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you said you thought it was a Catholic village. Why do you
16 say you believed it to be a Catholic village?
17 A. Because I knew quite a number of people from that village. It was
18 a Croatian -- these were Croatians. But at that point, there wasn't a
19 single inhabitant living there any more.
20 Q. What happened to the inhabitants?
21 A. Some fled, and some died.
22 Q. What was the condition of the housing in the village when you got
23 there, as much as you could see?
24 A. All the houses looked pretty miserable, pretty run down. In front
25 of one, a house, I saw at the threshold a dog, and I felt miserable
1 wondering whether his owner would ever return or not. A village which
2 existed and doesn't exist any more, without a single inhabitant, without
3 anything. I did see many Serbian soldiers and civilians from Srpska
4 Tisina who entered these buildings and who would take out whatever they
5 could. And so did we. We went in with the supervisor, who told us what
6 to take out, a couch. But he preferred farming. I had to take out the
7 pipes, irrigation pipes, out of one of the fields for him.
8 Q. And who was that supervisor that you took the pipes out for?
9 A. That was the one Tovorac [Real-time transcript read in error
10 "Todorovic"] in the first building after the bridge on the left in Srpska
12 Q. Now, sir, let's continue on the farming and agricultural --
13 MR. WEINER: Sorry.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Zecevic.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I believe the witness has
16 said that was the one Tovorac, I believe, not Todorovic. If my colleague
17 can clarify that.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the name.
19 Mr. Weiner.
20 MR. WEINER: Yes.
21 Q. Sir, when you testified you said the name Tovorac. And in the
22 transcript, it says Todorovic. What was the name of the supervisor who
23 had you remove those pipes so we can clarify this record?
24 A. In Tisina, there was no Todorovic. This was just a slip of the
25 tongue. Tovorac. I'm not even sure of that, but I know where he is and
1 where he lives. I could show you the house. Prior to that, he
2 worked -- he worked in Samac. The first building on the left when going
3 from Samac, first his brother's home in Srpska Tisina, and then his home.
4 Q. Now, sir, let's continue on with the agricultural-type work. Did
5 you ever work in the silos in Bosanski Samac?
6 A. Yes, I have.
7 Q. Where were these silos located?
8 A. At the exit from the town towards Srpska Tisina, near the railroad
9 track and the railroad station.
10 Q. Tell the Court, what did you do in the silos?
11 A. Well, there I had to work, and I -- we were peeling corn cobs and
12 we had this machine which we were turning. We were a pair working on
13 that. And then we were also loading bags on trucks.
14 Q. And how long did you do that, sir?
15 A. Well, this job lasted some five or six days.
16 Q. And what were the conditions in the silos?
17 A. Very dusty, hard work, and the machine for husking had to be
18 turned by hand, if you can imagine. Those who were there know what it
19 looks like.
20 Q. So you were removing the corn from the cob itself, the pieces of
21 corn from the cob?
22 A. Well, you place it by hand in a manual machine, mill. You then
23 have -- you place a number of cobs and then you have to turn the machine,
24 the handle. And I've never done that in my life up until then but that's
25 what I did at that point.
1 Q. Did you ever work with any type of cattle?
2 A. I did two types of jobs involving cattle. For only two days, I
3 worked at the Zasjeka on maintenance, and I also had the job of catching
4 runaway cattle and pigs. And we would load them on to trucks, those pigs
5 that we found at large in the fields.
6 Q. And in what town or village did you do this work?
7 A. At first, there were only a couple of villages, one of them being
8 Hrvatska Tisina, and later in Tramosnica.
9 Q. Now, were there any lists ever made of the crops that you seized,
10 that you picked from local farms, or the animals that you seized?
11 A. Never.
12 Q. Was any receipt or notice left at any of those residences or farms
13 as to what was taken?
14 A. Never.
15 Q. Were you trained for any of this agricultural work?
16 A. No, never.
17 Q. Did you volunteer for this work?
18 A. Never.
19 Q. Did you want to do this work?
20 A. Never.
21 Q. The farms that were looted or that had crops taken and animals
22 seized, of what ethnic group did these farms belong to?
23 A. They all belonged to Catholics.
24 Q. Sir, did you ever -- let's move on to another area of work. Did
25 you ever collect wood or chop wood or chop trees for firewood or do
1 anything related to wood or coal?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. And tell the Chamber in what villages did you do that work?
4 A. That was in town. I did most of that job in Odzak. In Odzak we
5 would go from house to house with a small TAM truck, and first we loaded
6 already-chopped wood for the purposes of shops in Samac and also to meet
7 the needs of civilians of Serb ethnicity.
8 I, for instance, delivered wood to two women in Samac. We would
9 put the chopped wood into sacks, load the sacks, and deliver them. And in
10 the houses of those two women, I had to take them up to the balconies.
11 Those -- that was small chopped wood that fitted right in the fireplace.
12 And then we loaded also bigger chunks of wood we delivered to Serb
13 families. We unloaded them outside their houses. We couldn't carry a
14 lot, because it was a small TAM truck. There were two of us. The other
15 man was a former schoolmate of mine, Mersad.
16 Q. Now, the wood that you got, you said you got it from homes. From
17 the homes of persons what ethnic group did you seize this wood?
18 A. The homes were 90 per cent Muslim homes in Odzak.
19 Q. And what about the -- did you go to any Croat homes to seize --
20 A. We did.
21 Q. Did you seize wood from any Serb homes?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Now, you said you transported this back to Bosanski Samac. How
24 did you know what homes to bring this wood to?
25 A. The driver would get his assignment or an order. The driver who
1 drove us always knew to which house he had to take us, and he would tell
2 us where to unload.
3 Q. Now, did the driver have a written list, or was it just a verbal
4 order that he received?
5 A. He knew. He had a list of houses where we were to unload, and we
6 would do that. It depended on the wishes of the owner whether we would
7 unload it outside the home or take it inside.
8 Q. Where did the driver get the list or the orders of persons who
9 wanted wood? From whom did he get this list?
10 A. On all occasions when I did this job, the driver would get a piece
11 of paper from Dzevad Celic outside the retirement home. It was a list of
12 people who were to go with Dzevad Celic.
13 Q. And where did Dzevad Celic get the information?
14 A. Dzevad Celic got his information from Miroslav Tadic.
15 Q. Who was Dzevad Celic?
16 A. Before the war, he used to be my manager, the director. And
17 later, he assumed that position, whether voluntarily or as work duty, I
18 don't know. He just got that assignment and executed the orders which
19 came from Miroslav Tadic.
20 Q. When you say he got the assignment, what did he do? What was his
21 assignment in relation to the labour?
22 A. He only decided on the number of people who were to go and do a
23 certain job. He didn't have any powers to make any decisions himself or
24 decide on jobs that would be done. He would just decide which people were
25 to go and perform a certain job.
1 Q. Who made those decisions? If Dzevad Celic didn't make those
2 decisions, who made the decisions of which people were to go and perform
3 a certain job?
4 A. Well, it depended on what the Serbs needed for their homes or
5 businesses. He got his orders from upstairs, so to speak, from the office
6 of Miroslav Tadic.
7 Q. And who did Dzevad Celic work for?
8 A. He worked for Tadic.
9 Q. How do you know, sir, that Tadic gave Dzevad Celic -- that
10 Miroslav Tadic gave Dzevad Celic lists or orders as to who get firewood
11 for? How do you know that?
12 A. There was no other person except for him who made such decisions.
13 Dzevad Celic told me that. And other people to whom I delivered wood told
14 me the same thing. They would go to see Tadic, and then they would be
15 referred to Celic, get a certain number of people who would then go to
16 work for them. And that's how I went out to work several times.
17 Q. Let's just talk about the firewood. Did you ever talk to any of
18 the people who you got firewood for who they went to see to order this
19 firewood and the labour to get the firewood? Did you talk to any of these
21 A. I talked to them, but actually it was more a case of them talking
22 to me of their own accord. They told me that they had been to see Miro
23 Tadic. They would get from him a piece of paper, and then they would go
24 to Celic and get a certain number of people, workers. That's what I
1 Q. Now, did you ever speak to the drivers of the trucks that you
2 transported this wood about who gave the orders relating to the firewood?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what did the drivers tell you about who was giving the orders
5 about who was to get firewood? What did they tell you about that?
6 A. Tadic.
7 Q. So they told you Tadic was giving the orders, Miroslav Tadic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, once they knew who to get the wood for, you would drive to
10 houses in Odzak and elsewhere. How did you know which house to stop at?
11 Did you stop at every house, or how did you know where to go? What would
13 A. The driver of the truck would stop by a house and told us to
14 unload. I never knew in advance where it would be. He knew everything
15 that he had to know, what type of wood, which house where we were to
17 Q. When you got to these houses in Odzak and elsewhere, did they just
18 send you in and tell you to look for wood, or what would they tell you?
19 Would they tell you to look for coal, wood? What were your directions?
20 A. Go and enter this house or this yard, because they were afraid
21 lest it had been mined. First, they told us to look for chopped wood. We
22 would go in. If we didn't find anything, we would go on. When we would
23 find it finally in another house, we would load the truck to capacity.
24 For the needs of businesses, we would just heap it on the truck. And for
25 the needs of private persons, such as those two women I had mentioned, we
1 would first put the wood into sacks and load them on to the truck. They
2 lived on the second floor above Merkur, and we delivered it all the way
3 up to the second floor, and then we would go back home.
4 Q. That was the two women that you got the wood for.
5 A. I knew those two women personally.
6 Q. Now, the homes that you would take this wood from, of what ethnic
7 group were these people?
8 A. Most of the people in Odzak who were Muslims and Catholics.
9 Q. Did you take wood from any homes owned by Serbs?
10 A. Never.
11 Q. Did you take items other than wood from those homes?
12 A. Certainly. The driver always needed something. Women were also
13 with us. For instance, when we went to Trkic, we were always accompanied
14 by women who needed a couch or an armchair or anything nice we found in a
15 house that hadn't already been taken away, we would pick up. And that was
16 in addition to our regular job that we did always. Every time we went
17 out, we had to take out something and carry it away.
18 Q. Now, you said that the drivers did not accompany you into these
19 houses because they were scared that they were mined. Could you explain
20 that, please.
21 A. Certainly. Everybody was afraid. It might be the case, but
22 nobody was actually ever injured. But just in case, we were always the
23 first to go into a house, we, the workers, and they followed. And then
24 they would point their finger and say, "Pick this, this, and that, and
25 take it away." But nothing ever happened in terms of mines.
1 Q. The workers that you were talking about, the people who went in
2 first, or just the workers in general, of what ethnic group were they?
3 A. Muslims, and a couple of Catholics. As time went by, there were
4 fewer and fewer Catholics.
5 Q. What was happening to the Catholics that there were "fewer and
6 fewer Catholics"?
7 A. Miroslav Tadic put them in camps and used them for exchanges
8 because their village -- because their village on the other side was also
9 occupied. He had his chance to use these people to set up an exchange.
10 Q. The work that you were doing, collecting the firewood, bringing it
11 places, transporting it, bringing it upstairs to homes, was it hard work?
12 A. Yes, it was.
13 Q. Did you want to do this type of work?
14 A. No.
15 Q. The drivers that brought you to these places and told you to go
16 into different buildings or homes, where were they from?
17 A. The drivers were people I knew. They were employed in Samac.
18 They mostly came from the town of Samac and the surrounding villages. I
19 knew them all.
20 Q. Of what ethnic group were these people?
21 A. They were Serbs.
22 Q. Were they armed when they brought you to places?
23 A. They all carried weapons. In fact, they had weapons, but they
24 usually left them on the truck. They didn't carry it with them.
25 Q. Now, when you brought this wood to homes, to homes or shops in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Bosanski Samac, of what ethnic group were the people who received this
3 A. The homes belonged to people of Serb ethnicity. The shops, the
4 businesses, belonged to companies from outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
5 from Croatia. The shops which were not looted were from Belgrade, for
6 instance, but there were not many of them. They didn't use much of his
7 stuff. They had no use for it, simply.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Weiner, the witness on page 51, lines 19 and
9 20, stated that Mr. Miroslav Tadic put the Catholics in camps and used
10 them for exchanges. I wonder if you could clarify with the witness how he
11 knew that.
12 MR. WEINER:
13 Q. You've heard the Judge's question. Could you please explain?
14 A. Miroslav Tadic is not originally from Bosanski Samac. He comes
15 from the municipality of Odzak, the Novi Grad village. This Novi Grad
16 was occupied by Catholics, and he put all Catholics in the building of the
17 secondary school in detention, and later exchanged them. They were the
18 first to get exchanged as a group. That's why he had detained them, in
19 order to use them for an exchange to get his people from his native
20 village. I know this for sure, and the Catholics from Bosanski Samac were
21 the first to be exchanged.
22 MR. WEINER: Excuse me.
23 Q. The information that you have relating to these exchanges, where
24 did you get that information? Did you talk to certain people? Did you
25 see certain things that were happening? How did you obtain this
1 information? What's the source of your information?
2 A. That camp was the first to be disbanded. It simply disappeared.
3 All that remained were those few Catholics from the town of Samac who had
4 been detained in the Territorial Defence buildings, together with the
5 Muslims. That is something that happened, and I saw it.
6 Q. Did you ever speak to anyone who had been exchanged as part of
7 this process?
8 A. I talked to a number of people, quite a few.
9 Q. And did they tell you about how they were exchanged?
10 A. That exchange was with Croatia. All the exchanges were with
11 Croatia. I, too, was later exchanged and went to Croatia. A lot of
12 people asked to be exchanged, and the Croats wanted Croats first, which is
14 Q. Now, let us just finish up with the wood and then we'll get to
15 exchanges a little bit later, sir.
16 Did you ever cut trees? Were you ever ordered to cut trees?
17 A. I was in Branica, which is a hamlet of Obudovac village. I spent
18 ten -- or up to ten days there. There, we cut trees for fighting men who
19 had been killed. In fact, for their families, mothers, wives, whoever had
20 a family member who had been killed. We cut those trees, loaded them on
21 to a tractor, and drove them away. Those were not big logs. Those were
22 more like planks, about three metres in length. We would pile them on to
23 a tractor and drive them to the house in question.
24 Q. Was this hard work, sir?
25 A. It's very hard.
1 Q. Did you want to do this work?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you volunteer for this?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you know anyone who volunteered for this type of work?
6 A. No.
7 Q. How many people did this with you?
8 A. There were ten of us.
9 Q. Of what ethnic group were these people?
10 A. Muslims.
11 Q. And was wood ever brought, this wood or any other wood, or coal
12 ever brought to any Muslim or Croat homes?
13 A. Those logs, in fact, this wood was transported to Obudovac
14 village, to Serb Homes. Nobody else lives there actually. There were
15 only Serbs there.
16 Q. What about the wood that was brought to Bosanski Samac? Was that
17 ever brought to Muslim or Croat homes?
18 A. Never.
19 Q. Sir, were you involved in collecting and transporting construction
20 goods and materials? Did you ever do that? Were you ever assigned to do
21 that or ordered to do that?
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. What type of materials did you collect and load?
24 A. Construction materials. Bricks, they are called "block bricks."
25 Planks. Wire. We would stop at yards, and wherever we found stuff they
1 were interested in, we had to carry it away.
2 Q. In what areas or villages or municipalities did you take these
4 A. For two days running, I went to Tramosnica village. It is in
5 Gradska municipality, not in Samac. On the first day, we brought back a
6 large truck full of block bricks, and we unloaded them at Samac Trans
7 company. I did the same job the next day. We went to Tramosnica, loaded
8 the bricks. But this time around, we unloaded them at Zasjeka. And then
9 it turned out a mistake had been made, so we put them back on the truck
10 and drove them to Samac Trans.
11 Q. Did you go to any other villages in the municipality of Bosanski
12 Samac to do this work?
13 A. This type of work which we carried out in Bosanski Samac, we went
14 to Hrvatska Tisina, a similar job. We worked in the same way. Whatever
15 we found, we loaded trucks. And then I unloaded also wooden planks in the
16 railroad station in Bosanski Samac Agropromet.
17 Q. When you say Agropromet, you mean the Agropromet warehouse near
18 the railway station?
19 A. That's right, yes. And that warehouse, I unloaded from a truck,
20 planks. With my son, we unloaded -- it was cement, cement also in bags,
21 in sacks. I was always -- I had the luck of unloading always the same
22 type of truck, the same truck which was driven by somebody from Kruskovo
23 Polje. I knew them personally. Then Subasic would come, and we would
24 go -- in addition to my daily work, we would go in the evening and unload
25 this truck.
1 Q. Now, the homes that you took and businesses that you took these
2 materials from, the wood, the planks, wire, cement, of what ethnic group
3 were the people who owned these homes?
4 A. Excuse me, I didn't understand. From where we took?
5 Q. Yes. The homes that you got all of these materials, these
6 construction materials from, of what ethnic group were the people who
7 owned those homes?
8 A. Serbs.
9 Q. You were seizing the construction materials from the Serbs?
10 A. No.
11 Q. All right. People of what ethnic group lost their materials or
12 had these materials stolen from them?
13 A. Oh, these were Catholics. And Odzak was a Muslim -- with a Muslim
15 Q. Did you ever seize materials, these construction materials, from
16 the homes or businesses of Serbs?
17 A. Never.
18 Q. And all of these materials were eventually brought back and stored
19 in Bosanski Samac?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Now, did you ever go to stores and take food or groceries?
22 A. I participated directly in one looting. It was Cviko Tesic and
23 Torak [phoen] who went. That was an abandoned store owned by a person
24 whose nickname was Romeo. His home was near the Catholic graveyard. We
25 collected everything, placed it on the truck and then drove to Agropromet
1 where the warehouse was near the police station. That was -- then I
2 remained in there. Somebody who knew me, I would receive that, those
3 goods, and then I would place it on the shelves in the warehouse. So that
4 was also a job that I performed for a number of days.
5 Q. Did anyone else take food and groceries from shops in Bosanski
7 A. All the shops were looted immediately a month later. At that
8 point then certain commissions came out and sealed off these premises, all
9 the shops which were owned by Muslims or Catholics which were private, and
10 shops which were not from Bosnia, which were from Croatia.
11 Q. What about the shops which were owned by persons from Croatia?
12 Were those looted, too?
13 A. All of them. All of them.
14 Q. What about shops that were owned by Serbs? Were they looted?
15 A. No. They continued to operate normally. No.
16 Q. What about shops owned by companies from Serbia?
17 A. Nobody touched those shops.
18 Q. Now, the shops that were looted, such as the Romeo store in
19 Bosanski Samac, after it was looted, was any receipt left or any list of
20 items taken left there to show what was seized?
21 A. Never. They -- when we would bring in the Agropromet warehouse,
22 the goods then, Sejkto Pasic [phoen] and Pero Travorac [phoen] would make
23 a list of inventory.
24 Q. Now, these two men you just named that would make an inventory,
25 who did they work for?
1 A. They worked for Mr. Miro. They had -- they were always close to
2 him and to his office. I saw them there close three, four times. They
3 were older people. In the past, they were shop salesmen.
4 Q. When you say "Mr. Miro," who are you referring to?
5 A. I'm referring to Tadic.
6 Q. And do these two men that you were referring to have offices?
7 A. Yes, they -- next to Tadic's office, they had a long table there.
8 Not only them, but also some others. Some were making lists of buildings,
9 of houses, and so on. But they were always there on the floor where his
10 office was.
11 Q. So we're talking at the retirement home?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, when you loaded a truck with food and items, would that be
14 from several stores or just one store, or would that vary?
15 A. I would load -- I directly unloaded -- I loaded from that one
16 shop. But otherwise, I was unloading and placing it in the warehouse,
17 piling. And wherever I would be told to put this, pile it up, I would.
18 It wasn't only me; there were others who were doing this also.
19 Q. Is when an inventory was made back at the warehouse, would anyone
20 ever ask where each of these particular items ever came from?
21 A. No. I don't know that.
22 Q. Now, were restaurants in Bosanski Samac ever looted?
23 A. All of them. All of them that belonged to Muslims or Catholics.
24 Q. What about the restaurants owned by Serbs?
25 A. Nothing. They operated as they did in the past, including the AS.
1 Q. You mean Cafe AS?
2 A. That's right, yes.
3 Q. Now, who was looting these restaurants in Bosanski Samac?
4 A. Well, the military -- the members of the 4th Detachment. They
5 would -- this wasn't under any anybody's control. They would take what
6 they needed, and also others coming from aside.
7 Q. Did anyone stop these members from the 4th Detachment from looting
8 restaurants in Bosanski Samac?
9 A. Nobody.
10 Q. What time period was this?
11 A. Immediately, at the beginning. That was the first. These were
12 the first facilities to be looted.
13 Q. When you say "at the beginning," do you mean right after the
14 conflict began in April of 1992?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, are you familiar with a company known as the Korpara
18 A. Korpara, yes, yes. I was loading. These were a factory producing
19 wicker furniture, so I was working for the kitchen in Srpska Tisina. A
20 person by the name of Mica, who doesn't see on one eye, we went with him.
21 We filled up and loaded one truck. I don't know where he took it. Two or
22 three hours later, he came. We reloaded the furniture from that factory
23 hall. After that, I went back to the village of Tisina and resumed my
24 work. So it was from this plant that we took it. There was nobody in
25 that plant, in that factory, except for Mica.
1 Q. Did someone supervise the work?
2 A. Well, this person by the name of Mica.
3 Q. And what happened to the goods, the furniture that was loaded on
4 to trucks from that factory?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. All of this loading work, whether it was food or construction
7 materials, was it easy work to do?
8 A. Well, I was loading food. It wasn't difficult. But as well as
9 for the wicker furniture, it wasn't difficulty, but it took quite a long
11 Q. What about the construction materials, was that difficult work?
12 A. Well, that is difficult work. It's physical work.
13 Q. Did you volunteer for any of this work, any of the loading work,
14 whether it was food or construction materials or the furniture?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you want to do this work?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Your occupation was as a machinist or a miller, milling machine
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And this work had nothing to do with your occupation?
22 A. No, it didn't.
23 Q. Were you involved, sir, with the looting of homes?
24 A. Yes, I had.
25 Q. Was that part of your labour assignments?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In what areas were you assigned to loot homes?
3 A. In Hrvatska Tisina, Novo Selo, Grebnica, Odzak, Hrvatska Dubica.
4 Q. Did you ever loot in Tramosnica?
5 A. Yes, yes. On two occasions, yes.
6 Q. Let's start with Tramosnica. On those days you were going to
7 loot -- actually, first, tell us, where is Tramosnica?
8 A. It is in the municipality of Gradacac. It is close to Pelagic,
9 Slatine, and Gradacac. Somewhere in that area.
10 Q. Now, are you familiar with the village of Tramosnica? Had you
11 been there prior to the conflict?
12 A. Oh, I just passed through it.
13 Q. Did you know anyone from the village?
14 A. I knew Kata, who -- Mensur's wife, who worked in Bosanski
15 Samac. She had a law degree. And she was from Tramosnica.
16 Q. Do you know who type of village it was, of what ethnic group the
17 people there came from?
18 A. Completely Catholic village.
19 Q. Now, on those days that you were sent to loot homes in Tramosnica,
20 where did you gather in the mornings?
21 A. We gathered in front of the home of the retired people. That is,
22 there was this one time when I was to load buildings blocks, and then I
23 went to Tramosnica when I was in Branica, the hamlet of Obudovac.
24 Q. Okay. You went to Tramosnica. How did you get there?
25 A. On a truck.
1 Q. Once you got there, what did you do on that first day, the first
2 of the two days in Tramosnica?
3 A. We were loading building -- construction bricks, but I've already
4 narrated that. We loaded the first day, the second day, and then we came
5 back. And in Obudovac when we were felling trees for the dead
6 soldiers' families, along the way we also loaded those little huts for the
7 drying of tobacco leaves. I believe that I placed -- I moved two of these
8 objects, and we took them to neighbouring villages, these platforms. And
9 then I saw an American mobile home. It looked something like that. These
10 platforms for drying tobacco.
11 Q. Let's talk about that. Did they grow tobacco in Tramosnica?
12 A. Yes, they were.
13 Q. And was Tramosnica known for tobacco growing in the former
15 A. Our entire area was known for that, and in connection with that,
16 also Tramosnica.
17 Q. Did they have tobacco sheds in Tramosnica for drying tobacco?
18 A. Yes, they did.
19 Q. And what was the size of these tobacco sheds? If you can describe
20 it in metres.
21 A. It's 2 and a half metres wide; and in length, some 4 metres.
22 Q. And do they have a roof?
23 A. Yes, they do.
24 Q. Now, you said that you took some of these sheds. Where did you
25 see these sheds first? Were they in yards in were they in driveways?
1 Where were these sheds located?
2 A. In their yards.
3 Q. Now, what did you do with these sheds? Did you bring them to
4 someone after you took them?
5 A. We only loaded them on our truck trailers, trailers from which
6 were otherwise pulled horse cart. We placed them on these carts, and they
7 were taken away. But we didn't unload them.
8 Q. How did you know which sheds to take? Did someone select them?
9 Was there a list? How did you know which sheds to take?
10 A. Well, a person came -- that there were sheds. We loaded about ten
11 of them, and there were people who wanted these sheds, and we helped them,
12 then, to load them. It's not that we helped, but we did load them. We
13 were the ones who loaded them then, and we placed them on the cart. And
14 next to these sheds, you had also oil reservoirs, oil tanks, but we didn't
15 remove that.
16 Q. Now, the sheds that were taken, they belonged to persons of what
17 ethnic group?
18 A. Catholics.
19 Q. And they were given or selected by persons of what ethnic groups?
20 A. Serbs.
21 Q. So people just came and picked out a shed, and you had to take it?
22 A. Yes, we were supposed to load them. And then the people would
23 take them away.
24 Q. While you were in Tramosnica, did you ever loot any private homes?
25 A. Well, it was along the way -- for the needs of the driver.
1 Q. And the truck drivers who directed the looting of what they wanted
2 or needed, where were they from?
3 A. This one, this one with which we loaded the bricks was from
4 Samac. For these tobacco sheds, that was a driver from Obudovac, but I
5 didn't know him, the one who was driving us to there and then taking us
6 back was from Obudovac.
7 Q. Now, when you took items from homes, whether it was the sheds,
8 items from homes, construction materials, any type of items, was any
9 receipt or inventory made?
10 A. Never.
11 Q. And let us move on to Odzak, municipality of Odzak. Did you ever
12 loot any homes, private homes, in the municipality of Odzak?
13 A. Yes, I had.
14 Q. And when was that?
15 A. That was later when the Serbian army entered Odzak some 15 days
16 later. That was in the second round of looting, and it included also my
18 Q. Was that in the summer of 1992?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And how many people were sent to Odzak to loot homes?
21 A. Well, there was a number of groups. I went with two people, and
22 then my son was with a bigger group, and then there were groups also
23 composed of women. All the women on those locations went there and
25 Q. And how did you get to Odzak?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I went by tractor.
2 Q. How long did you --
3 A. And with a TAM truck, a small TAM truck.
4 Q. How long did you stay in Odzak looting homes?
5 A. I always went there for one day. I would always go for one day
6 and then return home at dusk. In Dubica, when I went to Dubica, then I
7 stayed for a longer period, and that's also in the municipality of Odzak.
8 Q. Okay. Within the municipality of Odzak, how many days were you
9 there looting homes? Was it months? Was it weeks?
10 A. Days. In the municipality of Odzak, a month. But Odzak itself, a
11 day, a few days.
12 Q. Now, when you got there, a truck would bring you to homes. Was
13 there a list of homes to visit to take things from, or did they just stop
14 at every home on the street? What did they do once you got there?
15 A. There was no list, but we went from house to house to see what
16 could be collected.
17 Q. Did they tell you what to take first or did they first, say, go in
18 and see what you could steal, or what were you told?
19 A. Well, they told us what they wanted us to take out. Somebody
20 needed a couch, somebody an armchair. Anything that was nice was taken
21 away. Anything that was well-preserved, not worn out.
22 Q. Could you tell the Chamber some of the things that you took while
23 you were looting houses in the municipality of Odzak?
24 A. Well, I told you about the wood already. And in the Odzak
25 municipality, I did the same thing I did in Hrvatska Tisina. I would take
1 anything they wanted from a house, starting with windows, a complete set
2 of furniture, couches, armchairs. In Odzak, I removed an entire roof
3 together with Ibrahim Trkosevic, my partner. We removed an entire roof
4 and installed it on another house. First we measured the house, the
5 length, the width. We found the same-sized house in Hrvatska Dubica, and
6 installed that roof. We would take first the beams and then the tiles
7 and --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, we don't need the details. It's
9 sufficient to say the roof and materials were removed and taken to another
11 We will take a 15-minutes break and resume our proceedings at 1800
13 --- Recess taken at 5.47 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner, please proceed.
16 MR. WEINER:
17 Q. Okay. So you indicated that you took all sorts of things from
18 apartments in Bosanski Samac -- I'm sorry, in Odzak. Let's go finally to
19 Bosanski Samac and the surrounding villages. Were you ever sent to loot
20 any homes in those areas?
21 A. Yes, I was.
22 Q. Who accompanied you during these looting trips to the Bosanski
23 Samac -- in Bosanski Samac and the surrounding areas?
24 A. The people who wanted things out of various houses, and the
1 Q. Now, when you say "the people who wanted things," are we talking
2 about civilians from the area of Bosanski Samac?
3 A. Civilians.
4 Q. Okay. Now, could any civilian just go along with you, or did they
5 need some sort of permission?
6 A. I would be ordered to go with such and such a person.
7 Q. Okay. Now, what was the process? How did you come about to be
8 ordered to go with a certain civilian to get a certain item for them?
9 A. My messenger would tell me to accompany such and such a person,
10 and to carry the things he or she needed.
11 Q. Now, did the messenger make the decision whether or not the
12 civilian should go along with you, or whether or not they should receive
13 whatever item, whether it's furniture, electronics, plumbing, that they
15 A. No.
16 Q. Who would make the decision?
17 A. The person who needed something would go and see Tadic. Tadic
18 would refer them to Dzevad Celic. Celic would assign a certain number of
19 people, and the messenger would tell me where to go and what to carry.
20 Q. Now, how do you know about this process, that it went from Tadic
21 to Celic and eventually down to the drivers and the workers? How did you
22 know about this process?
23 A. I was told by the messengers, by Celic, by the people who wanted
24 things, and I would also see them going to one and the same place always
25 to ask for as many people as they needed.
1 Q. You said you were told by Celic. What did Celic tell you about
2 this process?
3 A. That he was there only to determine what number of people would go
4 and perform a certain job, and to identify those people.
5 Q. Who did he tell you made the decision of what civilians could go
6 along and receive items?
7 A. He told me that this decision was always made by Tadic.
8 Q. And when you say "Tadic," do you mean Miroslav Tadic, the
9 defendant in this case?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you talked about Jusuf Subasic sometimes, the courier. Did
12 you ever discuss this process of civilians going out with you labourers in
13 getting certain items? Did you ever discuss this process with him?
14 A. I did.
15 Q. And did he tell you who authorised the civilians to accompany them
16 and get the items they wanted?
17 A. He did.
18 Q. Who did he tell you authorised the requests?
19 A. He told me that he was there only to execute, and that Tadic was
20 making all the decisions.
21 Q. Now, how often did you go out with civilians to get items for
23 A. Those were occasional jobs. We did them from time to time.
24 Q. And what sort of items did you take from homes for these
1 A. For civilians, it was usually furniture, various electronic items,
2 washing machines, radios, anything that was in working order, anything
3 that was good.
4 Q. And of what ethnic group were these civilians that you went out
6 A. Serbian.
7 Q. Now, did you just go out once with these civilians, or did you go
8 out several times with certain civilians?
9 A. With Rado, who was nicknamed "specialist," I went several times.
10 She was the mother of Mile Pancir.
11 Q. And what did you get when you went out on those several times with
13 A. She liked everything, starting with sofas, armchairs, television
14 set, if anything was in working order. Everything that was good. If
15 there was lingerie, underwear that was in closets that was clean or good,
16 anything and everything.
17 Q. Did you bring these items to her home?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What did her home look like when you brought her these goods?
20 A. Her house is on my street. Even before the war, she wasn't poor,
21 although she was rather modest. But she got really wealthy during the
23 Q. Now, did you ever loot a store in Bosanski Samac where the goods
24 were taken outside of Bosnia, a store or a factory?
25 A. I was involved in the loading of a truck with stuff from Hrana
1 Produkt. It's a big refrigerated truck. And out of that company, we took
2 out frozen meat, pickled food, tins, delicatessen, and we loaded
3 that on to trucks with Belgrade licence plates. And my son worked there
4 as well. On one occasion, I watched from one of the houses, the first
5 houses on the left-hand side in the direction of Srpska Tisina. That
6 house is very near Hrana Produkt company.
7 Q. Did you see those trucks drive off?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Now, was that difficult work at Hrana Produkt?
10 A. Yes. It was very cold inside when we entered.
11 Q. Was that kind of like a giant freezer warehouse, freezer storage
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you have the proper clothing for working there?
15 A. No, we did not.
16 Q. And when did this occur, this work? In what month, if you recall?
17 A. It was in May.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you.
19 Sir, the looting work that you performed, did you know the owners
20 of any of the homes that were looted?
21 A. When I was looting this one house in Hrvatska Tisina, I knew most
22 of the people, but in particular, Marko Karalic, the craftsman who taught
23 me my skills. He also worked in the Mebos factory for a while. He was a
24 very good man, and I helped him for a couple of months to unload stuff
25 from a house nearby the railway station. And I took out coal from this
1 garage-type structure and loaded it on to a truck.
2 Q. How did you feel about looting your mentor's home?
3 A. That was one of the harder moments in that period I spent in
4 Samac. The man with whom I had spent 30 years in our former enterprise
5 who had taught me everything I knew, a wonderful man who was expelled from
6 his home and had to leave. He was a good craftsman, and he was left
7 without anything. He was reduced to loading coal.
8 Q. Did you want to do this looting work, or were you forced to do it?
9 A. I was forced to do it.
10 Q. Did you want to do any of these labour assignments that you were
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did you volunteer for any of these labour assignments?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Do you know anyone who volunteered for any of these labour
17 A. No.
18 Q. Why didn't you refuse?
19 A. I didn't dare to.
20 Q. Why?
21 A. Because I had two children, a wife, and I could see three camps
22 set up in Samac.
23 Q. Were you afraid?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I want to ask you just a few more questions about the work. You
1 said that you would start each morning in front of the retirement home.
2 When you and this large group of people lined up in the morning, how were
3 you treated in those mornings over that seven-month period, almost
4 eight-month period that you worked?
5 A. Men gathered there. There was also a cafe, but we couldn't go
6 inside, we, the people who had labour assignments. Soldiers went in to
7 the cafe. Some people would greet us; some would spit at us; sometimes
8 someone would show us the three-finger salute, and we had to reciprocate.
9 They would go in and have a drink, come out and repeat the three finger
10 salute and we would have to return it. It was all a sorry sight. Very
12 Q. When you talk about a three-finger salute, what is the
13 three-finger salute?
14 A. That's the Serb salute, with three fingers, the soldierly salute.
15 They all used it to greet each other.
16 Q. Can you show us it again. Show us the three-finger...
17 A. [Indicates]
18 Q. So for the record, it's the thumb and two fingers closest to the
20 And you would --
21 MR. WEINER: May the record reflect the witness is demonstrating.
22 Q. And you would have to respond if someone gave you that with that
23 same salute?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: That was the left hand?
1 MR. WEINER: Yes.
2 Q. Does it make a difference if it's left hand or right hand, sir?
3 A. I am left handed.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: I see. So some saluted with their right hand.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They all saluted with their right
6 hands. And I am left handed, so that's why I showed it that way.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Proceed.
8 MR. WEINER:
9 Q. Sir, during the period that you worked from April through the end
10 of December, were you ever sick or injured?
11 A. I was a sick man even before that. I had trouble with my spine.
12 But once when I was working in Branica, and since I am not very dexterous
13 with axes and stuff like that, a tree fell on my foot and almost cut off
14 one of the toes. But until the wound healed by itself, I continued
16 Q. Were you in pain after that injury?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How many days were you in pain after that injury?
19 A. At least ten days.
20 Q. Did you stop working, or did you take some time off on sick leave?
21 A. No.
22 Q. How come?
23 A. I didn't dare to go and see a doctor.
24 Q. Now, during these seven-plus months that you were working, were
25 you paid for any of the work that you had performed?
1 A. Never.
2 Q. How long did your son work?
3 A. Until the 25th of August, when he escaped across a mine field to
5 Q. From April until August, was your son ever paid for the work that
6 he performed?
7 A. Never.
8 Q. Did you have any other relatives that worked?
9 A. My brother-in-law worked, but only occasionally. My half brother
10 worked. Anybody who was able-bodied worked, anybody who wasn't too old
11 for that.
12 Q. Was your brother-in-law or half-brother paid for their work?
13 A. Nobody was.
14 Q. So you don't know anyone who was paid for their work?
15 A. No one.
16 Q. Now, you indicated that while you worked on the front lines, you
17 were fed one meal over an 11, 12-hour period.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Before we move there, the witness used to be
19 employed before the break-out of the war. Did your salary continue to be
20 paid from your former employment before the war? During the period when
21 you were taking part in all these projects that you have been describing,
22 was your normal salary being paid?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't quite understand. Do you
24 mean from my company?
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Only this one time, Stojan
2 Blagojevic came to see me, brought a list and told me to sign it, and said
3 that some arrears for 15 days would be paid to us, but that was the last I
4 saw of Stojan, and I never saw the money, of course.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can proceed.
6 MR. WEINER:
7 Q. When did Stojan Blagojevic come to you with a piece of paper?
8 When was that, sir?
9 A. That was in the month of May, and that happened outside the
10 retirement home.
11 Q. Now, you indicated previously that while you were working -- while
12 you were digging trenches, you received one meal a day, one meal during a
13 12-hour period. During all those other jobs that you were forced to do,
14 were you fed?
15 A. When I was working in Srpska Tisina, when I worked in this Serb
16 kitchen, I could get some food from them. And when I went on the looting
17 trips, I never got anything except if some of those people there gave me
18 something. But that was only occasional. When I worked in Odzak, or
19 rather, the Odzak municipality where I spent 20 days working for one man
20 in his house, he would feed me.
21 Q. During that seven-month period, how often were you fed?
22 A. Well, once a day. But when I went on those looting jobs, I never
23 got anything to eat.
24 Q. When you were fed, was it a sufficient amount of food for you and
25 the other prisoners?
1 A. No, it wasn't.
2 Q. Were people losing weight?
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. My learned colleague said
5 "other prisoners." We never understood that this witness was a prisoner
6 at all.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner, I think the terminology is...
8 MR. WEINER:
9 Q. Was it a sufficient amount of food, sir? When you were fed, was
10 it a sufficient amount of food for you and the other workers?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you or any of the other workers lose weight during this work
14 A. Everybody except for me. I am the way I am.
15 Q. So you have always been very thin and lanky, as we would say?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, who was in charge of this compulsory labour programme that
18 you worked for seven months?
19 A. Miroslav Tadic.
20 Q. And where was his office, sir?
21 A. His office was on the first floor of the retirement home, the room
22 directly -- straight in front of you when you're coming up the staircase.
23 Q. Did you ever have any conversation with Dzevad Celic concerning
24 who was in charge of the forced-labour programme?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And who did he say was in charge?
2 A. Only Tadic.
3 Q. Did Celic ever call you to his office concerning a work
5 A. Only once.
6 Q. And can you tell the Court about that.
7 A. He was my manager, my director, and he summoned me once. That was
8 on the 26th of August. He wanted to issue me with an order to go out to
9 work on the so-called separation. And that is the building of concrete
10 bunkers, or more precisely, the making of concrete blocks from which
11 bunkers are made. That is one of the hardest forms of manual labour. I
12 told him, "Look, Celic. You were my manager. You know that I was seen by
13 the disability commission three times. You know that I was about to get a
14 disability pension." And he answered: "You have to go and ask Miro if
15 you want to be released." But I didn't dare do it.
16 Q. Did he show you anything when he told you he wanted you to go to
17 the separation company to work?
18 A. Yes. He showed me a paper with the decision that I, with my name
19 and surname, have been -- that it was decided that I would go and work in
20 the separation plant.
21 Q. And when you complained, did he tell you who made the decisions
22 relating to -- all the decisions relating to the work, the assignments?
23 A. He told me that it was decided by Tadic, the next floor, and that
24 he cannot do anything about it himself.
25 Q. Did he tell you who could change that plan? Who was the person
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 who could change that assignment?
2 A. He told me -- repeated it a number of times that only Tadic could
3 do that.
4 Q. Now, you've talked many times about a Jusuf Subasic, the courier.
5 Did you ever discuss with him the power or the authority of Miroslav
7 A. Yes, I had. He also said the same thing as Celic.
8 Q. And what was that?
9 A. That Miro Brcko is the one -- Tadic, Miroslav is the one who
10 decides about everything.
11 Q. Now, were you ever assigned to work at night? After you had
12 completed a day, were you ever assigned to work at night by Subasic, this
14 A. Well, once I mentioned that I was unloading the planks at the
15 railroad station.
16 Q. And what hours did you do that?
17 A. That was after I returned from the previous work. It was
18 somewhere at 8.00 p.m.
19 Q. Did you want to do that?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And did you tell Subasic that you didn't want to do that?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did Subasic tell you who authorised him or who authorised your
24 labour that night?
25 A. He didn't say anything on that occasion, just that I had to go
1 there and do the unloading operation.
2 Q. Now, did you ever speak to any of the truck drivers concerning the
3 labour programme?
4 A. Yes, I had. I knew these people.
5 Q. And did they ever tell you who was in charge of the assignments
6 and the decisions and plans relating to the assignment of labour?
7 A. Always the same answer: Tadic, with whomever I spoke, the same
9 Q. Now, you said that Dzevad Celic showed you this assignment sheet
10 when he called you on that one occasion to his office.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, did you ever see a similar document to the one that Celic
13 showed you relating to the assignment of personnel for labour?
14 A. Yes, when my father died.
15 Q. Tell the Court what happened when your father-in-law died.
16 A. When my father-in-law died, I went to the retirement home. I met
17 a few people along the way, and I asked whether they knew what the
18 procedure was, whom to ask. I met Celic, and he said, "Go up to Miro's,
19 because you'll need a truck." I went to Tadic's office. I asked him. I
20 told him my father-in-law died. I asked, "Can you give me the small
21 truck?" And he said: "At this point in time, I don't have it at my
22 disposal. At this point, I don't have a single free truck at my
24 Q. Now, while you were in his office to see about the truck, did you
25 see anything?
1 A. I did see the identical type of paper as Celic had shown me when
2 he told me that I was to go to work in the separation plant. I didn't see
3 the content, but it was the same type of paper, the same type of form.
4 Q. And where did you see this document which was similar to the one
5 that Celic had showed you assigning you to a certain job? Where did you
6 see this similar-type document?
7 A. In front of him on the table. He was standing.
8 Q. When you say "he," whose table and who was standing?
9 A. Well, Miroslav Tadic was in the office there. And he was standing
10 at the desk. I entered, and I made the request.
11 Q. And then you saw the paper on Tadic's table, then, in his office?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, during your period of work, did you wear a white armband?
14 A. Always.
15 Q. And you indicated you were on occasion given one meal a day. Were
16 you hungry at the end of the day?
17 A. Yes, I was.
18 Q. Were you tired?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. If you weren't paid, how did you feed your family, sir?
21 A. My relative, my brother-in-law, helped me a lot. And then Ratko
22 Tuvakovic, he would come around and bring something. And we -- I had one
23 or two sacks of flour. Well, we somehow lived. We made the ends meet.
24 Q. Were the members of your family hungry?
25 A. Yes, they were.
1 Q. Did anyone in your family lose weight?
2 A. My wife lost 40 kilograms.
3 Q. Now, during this period that you had to work, did you see -- did
4 you happen to see any of the defendants in Bosanski Samac as you were
5 working in different jobs all over that municipality and in many others?
6 Just yes or no, if you saw any of them.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let's start off with Miroslav Tadic. How often would you see
9 Miroslav Tadic?
10 A. Three times a week.
11 Q. And where would you see him?
12 A. In front of the retirement home, when he was entering the building
13 going up to his office.
14 Q. Did you see him at any other locations?
15 A. I saw him twice, a few times in front of the home of Mustafa Raga,
16 and also in front of some other houses.
17 Q. Now, during your period of compulsory labour, did Mr. Tadic's
18 dress or appearance change in any way?
19 A. Well, he seems to me here today as he used to be when sitting in
20 front of the hotel in Bosanski Samac. But at the time, he wore a long
21 white coat, and he had a long beard and round spectacles. We presented
22 himself as a Vojvoda, as a commander.
23 Q. When you say "presented himself as a commander," what significance
24 did this long beard, round glasses and long white coat, long trench coat,
25 what significance was that to your opinion?
1 A. Well, in my view, he was imitating Draza Mihajlovic.
2 Q. And who was Draza Mihajlovic?
3 A. That was a Chetnik Vojvoda commander during the Second World War.
4 Q. And how did -- was this General Mihajlovic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And how did he dress?
7 A. Well, as I could see in our films, it was something like that,
8 except that he was a bit taller, heftier. At least, he was portrayed as
9 such in films.
10 Q. Okay. Now, did you see the defendant Simo Zaric in Bosanski Samac
11 during the period that you were forced to work?
12 A. Yes, I had.
13 Q. And how often did you see him?
14 A. I didn't see him that often. If I look back, approximately ten
16 Q. And where did you see him during those ten times?
17 A. On two occasions, in front of his sister's, in front of the
18 sister's house, in front of Raga's house when I went to work on the
19 silos. I saw him in front of the building of the Australian citizen.
20 That's where the military command was, and the military command from
21 Mustafa Raga's house. So they would move the command from one building to
23 Q. When you say the Australian citizen, was this an Australian who
24 was living in Samac that moved out? Could you tell us what that's about?
25 A. That building was erected by an Australian subject who built the
1 house in Bosanski Samac. They were expelled. It was a very big house, a
2 beautiful house, with a big cellar and also -- also a good shelter. And
3 that is where the staff headquarters were. And also, Mustafa Raga's house
4 was a big stable house, and that is where they moved to.
5 Q. When you say the "staff," you mean the military staff?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you ever see Simo Zaric at the retirement or pensioners' home?
8 A. I did see him on a number of occasions, just when passing by. He
9 was going up to see Miro.
10 Q. Now, when you saw Simo Zaric, how was he dressed?
11 A. Always in military uniform.
12 Q. Was he armed?
13 A. Always a pistol -- a service pistol. And I saw him also with a
14 bag in front of the sister's house.
15 Q. What kind of bag, when you say a bag?
16 A. Well, it was a soldier's service bag, shoulder bag, officer's
17 bag. It's made of leather which is worn over the shoulder. It is not
18 very big. Leather.
19 Q. Now, when you saw the defendant Simo Zaric, was he with anyone?
20 A. Was --
21 Q. Was he ever with anyone?
22 A. He had his driver who would drive him.
23 Q. Now, you said you saw him going into the retirement home. When
24 you saw him, were you and the others lined up awaiting for your morning
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And the defendant Blagoje Simic, did you see him in Bosanski
4 A. Yes, I saw him once in front of the home of -- retirement home,
5 and once just when he was passing by.
6 Q. And those were the only two times that you saw him between April
7 and December of 1992?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, when you saw him going into the retirement home, were you and
10 the others assembled there waiting for your work assignments?
11 A. Well, we weren't all there, because some groups already had left.
12 I was standing a bit longer in front of the retirement home because the
13 truck didn't arrive yet. On that occasion, the truck didn't arrive yet.
14 But there were also occasionally other reasons why we didn't go
15 immediately after arriving at 6.00.
16 Q. However, on that occasion, were you alone waiting for your
17 assignment, or were there others with you waiting for an assignment when
18 you saw Blagoje Simic?
19 A. There were also other people there.
20 Q. Finally, Milan Simic, do you know Milan Simic?
21 A. Yes, I knew him by sight.
22 Q. And during the period of April to December while you were forced
23 to work, did you see Milan Simic as you moved throughout the area?
24 A. Only one, when passing.
25 Q. So will only on one occasion?
1 A. Yes, in passing.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to talk about some other situations or
3 incidents that occurred during that period while you were working. Were
4 your parents alive? Were your parents living in April of 1992?
5 A. Yes, they were.
6 Q. And where was your mother living?
7 A. My mother lived in Tito's Street in an apartment.
8 Q. Now, where did she keep her valuables?
9 A. She worked as a salesperson in a kiosk selling cigarettes. She
10 wasn't well off. But whatever she had, she kept in her handbag. She had
11 a few hundred Marks, and some gold. She kept that in her handbag.
12 Q. And she kept that in her handbag as opposed to using a bank?
13 A. That's right, yes.
14 Q. And how old was your mother in 1992, in April 1992?
15 A. My mother was born in 1927. She was born in 1927.
16 Q. Do you know what month, sir?
17 A. No, I do not.
18 Q. So she was approximately 65 years old. And did something happen
19 to her in April of 1992 in Bosanski Samac?
20 A. Yes. She encountered an orthodox priest, Prota [as interpreted]
21 -- Tota, she asked where are you going? To see my children. He pushed
22 her, and took her bag. Tota.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: This is definitely some sort of mistake in the
25 transcript. Page 86, line 2, she encountered an orthodox priest, Prota,
1 and I really don't believe this is what the witness stated.
2 MR. WEINER: It's a problem in translation. I'll fix it.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, can you correct it.
4 MR. WEINER: I was just waiting for him to finish.
5 Q. Okay. Sir,, we seem to have a bit of a problem with the
6 translation here. Who did your mother encounter in April of 1992 that
7 took her handbag?
8 A. Tota.
9 Q. And when you say "Tota" are you referring to Nuzim Ramusovic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The same person who was shot, lying in the street, about a month
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The person who you did not speak highly of?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And he was not an orthodox priest, for the record?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
20 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
21 Q. Now, were there other thefts? I'd like to talk to you about other
22 thefts that were happening in Bosanski Samac beginning in April. Were
23 there thefts of vehicles that were occurring in Bosanski Samac?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who was taking vehicles, or stealing vehicles, in Bosanski Samac?
1 A. The vehicles in Bosanski Samac, some were stolen by the 4th
2 Detachment, and others by others who were coming from outside. Outsiders.
3 Q. When you say --
4 A. Serbs.
5 Q. When you say "Serbian outsiders," do you mean the paramilitary
7 A. All these were paramilitary formations.
8 Q. Now, people of what ethnic group lost their vehicles?
9 A. Muslims and Catholics. But I'm aware of three examples, three
10 cases, of Muslims.
11 Q. Did you have any relatives, first? Any of your relatives have
12 their vehicles stolen or robbed from them?
13 A. My brother-in-law, Sead Krajtin [phoen].
14 Q. And what happened? Tell the Court what happened to him.
15 A. Well, a certain person came to his home, Crni, with two other
16 people. He asked for his registration of automobile, the automobile
17 documents, the driver's licence, and they left and took the car.
18 Q. Was your brother-in-law given a receipt or any document indicating
19 that his car was being seized?
20 A. No.
21 Q. What about your neighbours? Did any of your neighbours have a car
22 taken from them?
23 A. When the mosque was demolished, I was checking in my roof. Then I
24 was looking at Omeragic's place, my neighbours. Nenad Bijelic came to
25 him, Smudj's son, and another two, Cabasko, and other two people who I
1 didn't know. They were all in uniform. They forced him to open his
2 garage, drove out the car, and left. Later, I was looking at that, seeing
3 that with my very eyes. He told me later on that they just said this is
4 for the needs of the 4th Detachment.
5 MR. WEINER: Your Honours, is it time to break now? It's just
6 about 7.00.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. How much time do you still need, Mr. Weiner,
8 to complete the examination-in-chief?
9 MR. WEINER: Sometime tomorrow afternoon. We'll be completed
10 sometime tomorrow.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I said how much time? An hour? Because we
12 don't seem we will go through this list.
13 MR. WEINER: I would say one to two hours.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Mr. Pantelic?
15 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honours, allow me to address another issue
16 which is not related to this particular issue.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: In that case, we will release the witness. Witness,
18 you are released for now. You should come back tomorrow to complete the
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can --
22 MR. PANTELIC: I'll try to be very brief, Your Honours. I kindly
23 ask this Honourable Trial Chamber to consider the possibility with regard
24 to the Christian Orthodox Easter which is on the 5th of May, to adjust our
25 sitting days and hours, and I raise this issue on behalf of four clients
1 and all of my colleagues. It is on the 5th of May. Since we are starting
2 to sit from the 1st of May, and the Good Friday would be on the 3rd of
3 May, and Easter Monday is on the 6th May, I would like to ask the
4 appropriate ruling of this Trial Chamber, especially given the fact that
5 the Croatian detainees here of Catholic religion and the Muslim detainees
6 of Muslim religion were to some sort granted to respect their religious
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. PANTELIC: I'm not asking for the ruling now or your answer.
10 But just --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: No, we may give you an answer later. What I want to
12 say is that these religious holidays which we observe in the Tribunal are
13 actually UN holidays adopted by the United Nations. That is why we
14 observe them. There are other religious holidays that we don't observe in
15 this Tribunal.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. But this is a specific
17 institution, UN institution, dealing with the three ethnic groups from
18 Balkans, from former Yugoslavia. I absolutely understand the policy of
19 United Nations with regard to the -- well, certain religious holidays.
20 But now we are here dealing with really specific, I would say,
21 backgrounds, traditions, personal moments, et cetera. And also, I can add
22 that in some other trials, the Trial Chamber will not sit on this week
23 prior to -- I mean, just a couple of days prior to Easter, if this fact is
24 of any assistance to your possible decision. Not to mention that we can,
25 Your Honours, maybe in coming months, maybe to adjust these two days to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 some extent. I mean, not to be in delay. I understand. I am perfectly
2 aware about the specific situation in our case.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. My other comment would be if you wanted them
4 to be UN holidays, then that is up to the states concerned to take the
5 matter up with the relevant organs of the United Nations.
6 Any comments from the Prosecution?
7 MR. Di FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I think the position of the
8 Prosecution is that it remains neutral in this issue. I can well
9 understand the Chamber's concern about keeping the trial moving and the
10 fact that they are not UN holidays. On the other hand, it is one of the
11 more important occurrences in the Christian calendar, and I can understand
12 the concern of the defendants and Defence counsel.
13 So I think it is best that the Prosecution just remain neutral on
14 this topic.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. The Trial Chamber will consider the
16 matter and issue a decision within this week.
17 The proceedings will adjourn and continue tomorrow in the
18 afternoon at 14.15 hours.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
20 7.04 p.m., to be reconvened on
21 Tuesday, the 16th day of April, 2002,
22 at 2.15 p.m.