1 Monday, 22 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. May we
6 first hear the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. This is Case Number IT-97-24-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And today's appearances, for the
11 MR. WAIDYARATNE: For the Prosecution, Your Honour,
12 Kapila Waidyaratne with Mr. Nicholas Koumjian, and Ruth Karper. Thank
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And for the complete Defence?
15 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, good morning. Branko Lukic and
16 Mr. John Ostojic for the Defence.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Before starting, several issues.
18 First of all, Ms. Karper, my apologies, because indeed, it's correct, the
19 document I needed was at least in my sphere and it was my fault to rely
20 only on the short summary of the OTP, indeed, misleading to that answer
21 that we regarded the witness as necessary to hear as a live witness.
22 Sorry about this.
23 Secondly, you may have heard by rumours on the corridor or
24 somewhere else that there was a Status Conference held last Friday in this
25 case office of the Prosecutor versus Mr. Mrdja. In the framework of this
1 Status Conference, there was a discussion when the case versus Mr. Mrdja
2 should be heard. You may know that it's a relatively new indictment and
3 Mr. Mrdja was just recently arrested. Ex officio, the Trial Chamber came
4 to the conclusion that normally, the prerequisites of Rule 48, joinder of
5 accused, would be met but we didn't go in any discussion of this point
6 because we believe such a joinder would infringe both the rights of
7 Dr. Stakic and Dr. Mrdja. Nevertheless, we have to take care that all
8 cases be heard expeditiously. Therefore, it was discussed during this
9 Status Conference whether or not it could be possible to hear the case
10 versus Mrdja during the break in the Stakic case, bearing in mind that it
11 was in the beginning a request from this Defence to have a break of about
12 three months.
13 It was discussed there that the Prosecutor's case would take,
14 realistically, maximum period of four weeks only and, therefore, it could
15 be feasible. No doubt, we have other problems to face, such as:
16 Courtroom availability; does it really fit into our programme; does the
17 Secretary-General of the United Nations assign the same Bench for this
18 case, and so on and so forth. But I regard it as necessary to inform you
19 already today on what's planned.
20 Any comments from the parties as regards this latter point?
21 MR. LUKIC: We have no special comments, Your Honour, but we are
22 ready to take a longer break than is scheduled.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And I understand that you are not interested to
24 try to have a joinder.
25 MR. LUKIC: No, Your Honour. We would prefer to have a separate
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We thought this, and I think it's indeed
4 From the side of the Prosecution?
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Nothing to add this morning. I think, Your Honour,
6 the way we left it, I don't know if Mr. Lukic and the Defence know this,
7 but both parties were asked to submit in writing their views about being
8 able to start on the 1st of October and for the Mrdja case, and we
9 haven't done that but we're going to do that in writing. There are some
10 issues we have to deal with, principally Rule 68, and how long it will
11 take to do the necessary search for Rule 68. Other than that, I don't
12 have any other issues except to say that I think the Defence shouldn't
13 count on it yet because it's not yet completely resolved.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No. As I mentioned before, there are numerous
15 possible obstacles, but it shouldn't be the case that you hear probably
16 even misleading rumours, be it in the Detention Unit or be it on the
17 corridors of this premises. So, therefore, this observation. But as
18 regards Mrdja, I really want to invite Mr. Koumjian, if there is any
19 problem, let us know immediately because it seems to be absolutely
20 necessary to use all the possible dates to hear the case. Otherwise, it
21 could be somewhere in 2005, if not 2006, which is not a realistic
23 Ms. Korner, last Thursday, before discussing the one or other
24 issue, she told us that you, Mr. Koumjian, would address us with a problem
25 as regards the signatures. Is there still a problem?
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, there is. But perhaps I could do it -- I may
2 have some more information this morning, and I would rather wait until I
3 have all the information before I speak to you.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then finally, we got the
5 Prosecution's fourth notice for admission of transcripts and videos
6 pursuant to Rule 92 bis. Is the Defence already prepared to respond to
7 this motion?
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Your Honours. If it's the fifth
9 notice for admission of transcript pursuant to Rule 92 bis, I'm prepared.
10 If it's the fourth one, I'm not prepared actually to discuss that because
11 I'm not sure what videos the Court is referring to. I only received this
12 morning the Prosecution's fifth notice for admission of transcript
13 involving a particular witness.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You are always better treated by the OTP and
15 Registry than the Judges. We don't have this yet, but probably
16 nevertheless you can give your commentaries to the transcript already now,
18 MR. OSTOJIC: With respect to the Prosecutor's fifth notice, we
19 object, Your Honour, and ask that this witness be presented live, although
20 we understand his medical condition. And the basis for which we believe
21 that he shall be presented live is as follows: Initially, this witness
22 was brought to the Tribunal. They cite the same reasons that they cited
23 in the prior case, the Tadic case, i.e., some hearing impairment that the
24 witness has sustained. That didn't seem to be a problem in the testimony
25 that the witness gave in the Tadic trial. And it seemed that the witness,
1 although the cross-examination was extremely limited, was able to endure
2 even cross-examination questions by both the Defence counsel as well as
3 the panel of Judges who were present. We believe that our rights to
4 confront and to cross-examine a witness is imperative, and that although
5 we have at times stipulated to 92 bis witnesses, this witness does touch
6 upon various issues that are critical and important to the Defence and
7 also to specific elements in the fourth amended revised indictment. For
8 those reasons, we ask that the witness be brought in or that the OTP
9 present another witness who would have, as they have in the past,
10 experienced parallel views and experiences within that time period at
11 issue. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Arguments in response?
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, admittedly our information regarding
14 the condition comes from -- mainly from the spouse of the witness. And
15 I'm unsure if the investigator actually was able to speak to the witness.
16 Perhaps once. I think he was having a lot of trouble speaking to the
17 witness. But even if the witness, even if we presume the witness had no
18 problem, medical problem, that still would not necessarily mean the
19 witness is not appropriate for 92 bis. The question is what in the
20 witness's statement is it that the Defence feels is not appropriate for 92
21 bis, or would make it worth the time to have the witness brought here live
22 to testify. I think, as I recall, this is a pure crime-base witness, and
23 we think it's appropriate for 92 bis for that reason.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. We'll decide on this as soon as
25 possible. And as time is of the essence and we have to decide on all
1 these issues, no doubt before the Court recess, I would ask the Defence to
2 comment on the fourth notice for admission of transcripts and videos
3 pursuant to Rule 92 bis, if possible, before the -- immediately after the
4 second break of today, if you could take it.
5 Anything in addition? I can't see anything. Therefore, would the
6 witness of today, which is number -- we have two possibilities. Please
7 let us know what's the number of today.
8 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Number 27, Your Honour, according to 65 ter.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 27. And this witness will be heard --
10 MR. WAIDYARATNE: As requested, protective measures, Your Honour,
11 of pseudonym and image distortion.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Pseudonym, image distortion. And pseudonym
13 would be now, please, "W"? Is it correct?
14 MR. WAIDYARATNE: "U." Am I correct?
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: "U." Okay. Then Witness U, please.
16 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, is it envisaged that we can conclude
18 the witness today?
19 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the witness for tomorrow is
21 prepared as well?
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning. Can you hear in a language you
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Can you hear me?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's hear the solemn declaration of this
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
7 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated. Please understand
9 that we will call you "Witness U" only, and not with your last name. This
10 is for the purpose of your own protection. And so please don't regard it
11 as an uncourtesy.
12 So, please, the OTP may start the examination-in-chief.
13 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour. May I at the beginning
14 request to Your Honour to go into private session as I would be leading
15 some personal information with regard to this witness.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session, please.
17 [Private session]
12 Pages 6204 to 6207 – redacted – private session.
16 [Open session]
17 MR. WAIDYARATNE: May I? Thank you.
18 Q. Now, talking about Kamicani, could you tell us very briefly the
19 distances between Kamicani and Prijedor?
20 A. Between 13 and 14 kilometres, I'd say.
21 Q. And when you go to Prijedor from Kamicani, you pass the town
22 called Kozarac. Am I correct?
23 A. Yes, you pass beside it.
24 Q. What about Kozarusa?
25 A. Yes, you pass by Kozarusa again.
1 Q. What was the distance between Kamicani and Kozarac?
2 A. From my -- about 2 kilometres.
3 Q. What was the majority of the population in Kamicani, from what you
5 A. Muslims were predominant, that is, Bosniaks.
6 Q. Roughly, approximately, did you know what the population was in
7 majority, the Muslim population in Kamicani?
8 A. I think about 90 per cent. It was the predominant group.
9 Q. Was there a mosque in Kamicani?
10 A. Yes, there was one.
11 Q. Where was it located?
12 A. The mosque was, when you arrived from Kozarac, about -- at one
13 kilometre from Kozarac, and then about a kilometre from the local commune
14 building. So it was midway between the two, roughly.
15 Q. Witness U, when did you stop work?
16 A. A week before the attack on Kozarac, that is, on Kamicani.
17 Q. When you say that, when was Kamicani attacked, according to what
18 you recall?
19 A. On the 26th of May, around 2.00. No, actually, it was on the 24th
20 of May, and the 26th was the day when the attack finished.
21 Q. So you stopped work one week before the 24th of May, 1992. What
22 made you stop work?
23 A. I wasn't able to move about and go off to my business in Prijedor
25 Q. Why do you say that you were unable to move about? Could you
1 explain as to what happened or what was the obstruction?
2 A. Following the takeover by Serb authorities in Prijedor
3 Municipality, during that last period, there were security measures and
4 control measures and checkpoints that had been introduced. So at some
5 point, you couldn't just pass through them.
6 Q. Now, you say that there were security measures and control
7 measures and checkpoints. Were they manned by Serbs?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You said that Kamicani was attacked and shelled on the 24th of
10 May, 1992. Do you recall before that any negotiations or any discussions
11 that took place of what you heard and knew?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you explain what happened and when this happened.
14 A. Well, I actually attended, after I had found out from my
15 neighbours that people were arriving who had taken part in negotiations in
16 Prijedor following the takeover of Prijedor Municipality by Serb
17 authorities, which meant that a group of people had been elected from the
18 Kozarac region, had been selected to go and negotiate with these new
19 authorities, the newly self-imposed authorities. So a group of people
20 were selected to go there and discuss this newly arisen situation with the
21 new authorities.
22 Q. Did they come back and say what happened?
23 A. Yes. They arrived there at the Kamicani local commune building.
24 Probably, they went about other local communes, too. And they talked
25 about their discussions with the authorities in Prijedor.
1 Q. What did you hear from them, and who was the person who said this?
2 A. I did not know exactly the number of persons in that group of
3 negotiators, but Dr. Jusuf Pasic was among them, Asim Fazlic also.
4 These two persons I knew. And in that group, there may have been other
5 people, but not that I knew, or at least on that particular day, I didn't
6 see any other persons.
7 Q. Was there any demands from the Serb authorities of what these
8 speakers or the people who came back told you all?
9 A. From what I understood, that was at least what I understood back
10 then or that's what Jusuf Pasic said literally. He talked about the
11 negotiations and what the subject of the negotiations had been. However,
12 the room was packed with people and everyone was listening. So Jusuf
13 Pasic, perhaps, simplified the matter a bit, and this is literally what he
14 said. He said: "As negotiators" - and I am referring to the group who
15 had gone to Prijedor to negotiate - "we are in an unequal position as a
16 negotiating team to negotiate our terms, and you must be aware of that."
17 He was referring to us who were listening. "They" - and I am here
18 referring to the Prijedor municipal authorities - "are the occupation
19 force." That's what he said. "And they tell us what to do. And they are
20 not asking us what we thought was to be done. They were not requesting
21 our proposals. This is something you must understand. That's what the
22 situation is like," he said.
23 And we ended on that note, on that piece of information. Whether
24 there were any further negotiating teams later on, whether contact was
25 established with the authorities in Prijedor, I couldn't tell. But
1 probably the result of those negotiations was precisely the attack of the
2 Serb forces on the 24th and 25th of May, 1992.
3 Q. Was there any mention of handing over of weapons and being loyal
4 to the Serb authorities? Was there anything of that nature mentioned?
5 A. Yes. That was one of the things discussed. They requested the
6 TO, the reserve forces of the Territorial Defence of the former
7 Yugoslavia, of the former Yugoslav army, active in the Kozarac, they
8 requested that they turn in their weapons and that both active and reserve
9 police forces should return their weapons so that the new Serb authorities
10 could occupy the police station and fill the remaining posts, official
11 positions, in the Kozarac area. What followed from that was that Muslim
12 police officers were not to possess any weapons and were not to continue
13 their daily duties as policemen. And that was then the end to their
14 activity. And what would have followed afterwards, we can only speculate.
15 Q. Now, Witness, did you have any weapons with you?
16 A. No, I didn't.
17 Q. Were you a member of the TO?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Now, after these discussions or the matter that you referred
20 earlier, what happened on the 24th of May, 1992, and where were you?
21 A. On the 24th, it was a Sunday, roughly at 2.00 in the afternoon. I
22 happened to be in the area of Kamicani or, more specifically, in the
23 hamlet of Forici, thereabouts. I talked to one of the locals there at the
24 entrance to the hamlet, and suddenly there were shots and very loud
25 explosions. I didn't know which direction it was coming from at that
1 moment, but I know that there were powerful detonations while I was there
2 before I ran off to hide, and there was rubble flying through the air. So
3 at that moment, I took shelter in a garage nearby.
4 Q. Did you see any other explosions or shells hit the targets while
5 you were in the garage?
6 A. Yes. From the moment it began, that was the first moment of the
7 attack, it went on for some time. So from the garage in which I was
8 staying, there was no front door there. As far as I could see, I saw
9 where the shells were falling, falling on the houses and all over the
10 place, with loud explosions. So it was probably also due to the fear I
11 felt because that was the first time I saw anything like that happening.
12 Probably, I even consciously refrained from watching. But then again, I
13 was not in a position to see clearly what was happening.
14 Q. Did you see any houses be damaged by such shelling?
15 A. Yes, the houses across the way from where I was, and then 200
16 metres down the road, I saw a shell land on one roof and the house just
17 fell apart and the roof started burning. And I didn't see how that ended
18 up, what happened to the house, but I saw the shell fall on the
20 Q. Now, Witness, when you were in this garage, were wounded brought
21 to that place, a wounded man?
22 A. Yes. From the moment I came to the garage, there arrived some
23 other locals, men and women from the area, and they stayed with me there.
24 And we didn't leave the garage for at least between one and two hours.
25 And some three young men were there, and then some elderly locals also.
1 And then some were in a different place, I'm not sure, further down or
2 further up the street. And then a wounded man was brought there.
3 Q. Did you see as to what had happened to him?
4 A. Yes. They were passing by that garage where I was staying and
5 they saw probably that there were people inside there, so they brought
6 him there for us to help him.
7 Q. Did you and any other person take this wounded man to Kozarac?
8 A. Yes. We tried to provide whatever assistance we could, but none
9 of us were trained medical staff. And we were scared, too, and ignorant
10 as to what we were supposed to do. So our first idea was to take the man
11 to hospital in Kozarac.
12 Q. Did you take that wounded person to Kozarac, the hospital in
14 A. Yes, we did.
15 Q. With whom did you go?
16 A. Next to the garage there, I mean, there were other people in the
17 garage, a number of locals. So next to the garage, there was a lorry
18 driven by one of the neighbours. So we put the wounded man on to the
19 lorry and we kept him in the back of the lorry, and that's how we
20 continued on for Kozarac.
21 Q. On your way to Kozarac, did you see, observe, any houses on the
22 way, damaged?
23 A. Yes. On my way, I was sitting in the back with the wounded man.
24 It was a rather small lorry, with the canvas lowered. But it flapped in
25 the wind so every now and then, as I was holding the wounded man in my
1 lap, I could see electricity posts torn down by shells, and I could see
2 shell-pimpled houses. I could see tree trunks lying all over the road,
3 probably also hit by shells, that sort of thing. So that was along the
4 road to the hospital. That was the situation. I did not watch all the
5 time, but when the canvas was pulled up by the wind, I could see the
6 situation outside along the road. I did not watch consistently during the
7 whole trip, but that's what I saw.
8 Q. What was the route that you took, the road that you took, to
9 Kozarac hospital, very quickly?
10 A. The road leading from Banja Luka towards Kozarac, that is, the new
11 road. And instead of turning off to Kamicani, we turned off to the old
12 road which is also leading towards Kozarac and Prijedor on to Banja Luka.
13 Q. When you reached the hospital, did you get to know as to what
14 happened to the wounded person, the person whom you took to hospital?
15 A. When we stopped, we saw that a number of medical personnel had
16 already gathered there, people whom I knew by sight who were staff members
17 of this hospital. They helped us carry him out of the truck, and I handed
18 the MAN over to them. But one of them said: "This man is finished,"
19 meaning that he had died. I must say that I was very afraid at that
20 moment. I didn't inquire further about what happened, whether he died
21 indeed or not. I'm just telling you this brief comment that I heard from
22 this person. That was the first thing that I learned and the only thing
23 that I learned about this man. After that, that is, after we took this
24 unfortunate man out of the truck, the shelling continued, and it was
25 getting closer to the hospital, to the area surrounding the hospital,
1 while we were still there. At that moment, the shelling even intensified,
2 so we had to seek shelter in the basement of this hospital.
3 Q. Was the hospital building damaged? Did you see any damage caused
4 to the hospital building by the shelling?
5 A. After the shelling, that is, during the shelling, we made several
6 attempts at leaving the basement. We wanted to continue on our way. It
7 was impossible to see from the basement what was going on, but we could
8 hear that the explosions were very near. The hospital itself was
9 affected. The glass on the windows were smashed and pieces of it were
10 falling all around the hospital, including the stairway leading down to
11 the basement. But we managed to leave the basement at one point in time.
12 It was a very brief lull in the shelling. When we got out, we were able
13 to see that the truck that we had used to bring this man to the hospital
14 had also been hit. So it was impossible for us to take the same vehicle
15 back. So we seized this lull in the shelling, this opportune moment, and
16 came out. I could see that everything had been badly damaged, including
17 the hospital building, the windows on the hospital, and the truck. But we
18 managed to leave the area and we continued on towards our houses.
19 Q. Witness, did you get to know the name of the person, the wounded
20 person whom you took to hospital and subsequently succumbed to injuries?
21 Did you get to know his name?
22 A. Yes, I did. He was a local resident from the same village as we
23 were. His family name was Foric. I don't know what his name was, but I
24 think he was called Ile. People called him "Ile," so his name could be
25 Ilijaz, for instance.
1 Q. How was he dressed at this time? Was he a civilian, dressed in
2 civvies, civilian clothes?
3 A. Yes. He was wearing jeans, denim trousers at any rate. He had a
4 T-shirt and a shirt on top of the T-shirt.
5 Q. You said that you returned to Kamicani.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How long did you stay in Kamicani after that?
8 A. Well, I think I stayed there for about two hours. I think I was
9 back home between 5.00 and 6.00 after I left the hospital.
10 Q. Now, in Kamicani, until when -- how long were you in Kamicani
11 after that?
12 A. I stayed there until the 26th of May, the afternoon hours of that
14 Q. Was Kamicani shelled during this period, from the 24th to the
15 26th? Could you very briefly explain what you observed?
16 A. Ever since the very beginning of the shelling and my departure
17 from that area, rounds kept falling almost all the time, but sporadically,
18 with intervals.
19 Q. On the 26th of May, 1992, did your family leave the house in
21 A. Yes, that is correct. Due to the shelling and the firing from
22 infantry weapons which was getting closer and closer, and also because of
23 the fact that we were able to see houses on fire from the direction of
24 Banja Luka, we decided that the moment had come for us to leave our
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Now, when you say "the family," who are the people who left the
3 A. I am referring to my immediate family and a number of neighbours
4 who were with us at the time; specifically, people who were hiding in the
5 basement of this house and with whom we left the village.
6 Q. When you say, "hiding in the basement," they were taking refuge in
7 the house from the shelling; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, yes. Why else would they be there?
9 Q. Now, Witness, what did you do?
10 A. After we had decided to leave our homes, we had some kind of
11 informal conversation amongst ourselves. I mean, it happened very
12 quickly. We decided to leave in the direction of Trnopolje, not exactly
13 for Trnopolje, but we decided to go in that direction. I decided to go in
14 the opposite direction and to leave for the woods because it seemed to me
15 that because of the nature of the terrain, it would be easier for us to
16 hide from the fighting which was getting closer. So we parted in this
17 house. They went to the south and I went in the opposite direction,
18 northward. After about 10 or 15 minutes of walk in the direction of these
19 woods, I realised that I had made a mistake. I kept asking myself: "Why
20 should I go to the area which is supposedly safer and let my family, my
21 wife and my child, go in the opposite direction"? And it was at that
22 moment that I decided to go back and join them, and then come what may.
23 Q. Were any of the people --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I'm sorry.
1 Q. Were any of the people who were with you armed at this time?
2 A. No. No, there were no weapons there whatsoever.
3 Q. And then you said that you decided to go and look for your family.
4 So did you proceed in search of your family and see them?
5 A. Yes, I did. As I said, I was for a while walking in the opposite
6 direction, but then I decided to go back and join them. While still on
7 the road, I saw a truck which was parked in the vicinity of my house.
8 This house was the property of my company, and I decided to take this
9 truck and to follow them, to try to get to them as quickly as possible.
10 And I was moving in the opposite direction of the attack. As I was
11 driving through the village, trying to get to my family and other people,
12 I saw that the place had already been abandoned by its residents. I
13 didn't see anyone inside or outside their houses. Of course, I couldn't
14 see inside. But I didn't see anyone around.
15 I kept looking to the left, hoping to see them. I wanted to give
16 them a sign so that they know that I was following them, that I was with
17 this truck which I thought could take us from the area much faster, take
18 us out of the area much faster. I probably drove very fast -- actually, I
19 know I did. And looking to the right and to the left, more to the left, I
20 came across a military vehicle, a pinzgauer, which was covered with a
21 canvas and was carrying a number of armed soldiers who were sitting on
22 both sides of the truck. The vehicle was moving in the same direction as
23 my truck and I caught them -- and I caught up with them. At that moment,
24 they stopped and they pointed their rifles at me. So I had to stop and
25 get out of the truck.
1 Q. Now, these soldiers, did you recognise them? Were they Serb
2 soldiers? How were they dressed?
3 A. The soldiers were wearing the usual Yugoslav military uniform, the
4 one I was familiar with, but they had no insignia on. They had helmets on
5 their heads, but the helmets did not have the usual five-pointed star,
6 which must have been covered with some black scotch tape. One of them had
7 a cap, the usual Yugoslav army cap, with the five-pointed red star.
8 Q. Were you beaten and questioned, or questioned?
9 A. No, they didn't beat me. The first thing they told me was to
10 curse me. They verbally abused me, started calling me names, and they
11 shouted at me, telling me to discard my weapon, but it was obvious that I
12 didn't have any weapon. They said: "Drop that weapon." But I said:
13 "You can see that I don't have any." So they continued with a number of
14 questions. They wanted to know where I was going, what I was up to, and
15 I told them. I told them what my intentions were. This lasted for a
16 while. We talked, but all the time they had their rifles pointed at me.
17 I told them that I went to search for my family, that I wanted to save my
18 family, but that I was not sure that I would be able to do that. One of
19 them, the one with the cap with the five-pointed star, came closer and
20 addressed me in a somewhat calmer way. And he asked me once again where I
21 was going, and I told him again what I had already told them.
22 At that moment while we were talking, the family, that is, the
23 people, were passing by. They were behind their backs. And I showed
24 them -- I pointed to those people, trying to explain to them what I was
25 about to do. So they turned around, and some of them, my father, my
1 mother, and some elderly people who were not moving very fast, who could
2 not walk as quickly as the younger ones who had already left, turned
3 around. And they said that they should board the truck. A number of
4 other residents came out of the shelters, and they were all put on this
5 truck, which I then drove in the direction of Kozarac, that is, towards --
6 to the T junction leading to Kozarac.
7 Q. You drove the truck with the others who were put on to your truck.
8 Was any other truck escorting you, escorting the truck that was driven by
10 A. Yes, there was. The soldiers who were with their vehicle, they
11 were driving the same direction. I don't remember whether they were ahead
12 of me or behind me because at that moment while this was going on, while
13 people were being loaded on to the truck, a number of other residents
14 showed up driving tractors, people who had gathered from the surrounding
15 houses who all formed a kind of small convoy which included this military
16 vehicle carrying Serb soldiers.
17 Q. Where were you all ultimately taken to?
18 A. Ultimately, we were taken to the school building in Trnopolje.
19 Q. Now, when you say "the school building in Trnopolje," could you
20 describe very briefly what this place was? And this was on the 26th of
21 May, 1992; am I correct?
22 A. Yes, you're correct. This lasted for a while. I just told you
23 the end of the story. The event happened on the 26th of May but late at
24 night, between 10.00 and 11.00 p.m.
25 Q. Could you describe the place, the school building, and the other
1 buildings around in Trnopolje, very briefly.
2 A. It consisted of a school building, an elementary school building,
3 a shop, football pitch, and a building which housed the local community
5 Q. Was there a cinema, too?
6 A. Yes, there was a cinema hall there, but I don't think that it
7 worked regularly. It was part of the community centre which had -- which
8 organised various types of activities.
9 Q. What you referred as "local community centre" was the cinema that
10 I referred to; am I correct? That was a big hall?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, Witness, when you reached Trnopolje, what did you observe
13 there other than the buildings that you described?
14 A. We reached Trnopolje at night. I drove in, into the compound,
15 between the building that we referred to a moment ago, that is, the
16 community centre building, the cinema hall, and the shop. It was dark.
17 The buses carrying women, children, and men followed my truck into the
18 compound, and we stopped there. I didn't actually enter the school
19 compound. And at that moment, I was not aware of what was going on in the
20 school building or who was there. I was still outside.
21 After a while, the buses were emptied, and I lingered on for some
22 time. A number of other buses and trucks arrived in the meantime, and
23 that's how I spent the night, out in the open. On the following day, when
24 it became light, I saw for the first time that people were actually
25 sleeping out in the open, in the school yard. There were many people
1 there, including a number of children who were crying. I also noticed
2 that the school was also packed, including the school yard. But we were
3 still standing outside at that time. Most of the people there were
4 residents of neighbouring communities such as Kozarac and Kamicani, and I
5 knew most of them.
6 Q. Witness, did you observe anybody in control or in authority other
7 than the people who had come there from the surrounding areas?
8 A. Of course, I didn't make any decisions or choices as to the route
9 we were supposed to take. It was the soldiers who told us where to go,
10 where to turn at various junctions such as Kozarac. There were armed
11 soldiers posted everywhere, so they were the ones who led us towards
12 Trnopolje. So the next day, when we arrived, when it dawned, I realised
13 where we were. We could still hear shooting and firing coming from
14 various directions, and I saw the next day that there were quite a few
15 people in military uniforms around this place. So there we were, and I
16 realised that it was not possible for us to leave.
17 Q. At that time in the camp, did you learn who was in charge of the
19 A. Yes, I did. The camp commander was a major by the name of
20 Slobodan Kuruzovic. He was the camp commander throughout the period of
21 time while I was there.
22 Q. Were there guards in uniform?
23 A. Yes, yes, of course, the guards.
24 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, would this be a convenient moment
25 to take a break, the adjournment?
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 5 minutes to
3 --- Recess taken at 10.23 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Apologies for being late due
6 to problems in another case.
7 I heard that there would be an issue to be raised as regards
8 signatures. Please.
9 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour. As Your Honour knows, an issue
10 that the Court, the Trial Chamber, has identified as a key issue in this
11 case is the signatures on many of the documents issued by -- or that have
12 been presented by the Office of the Prosecutor, and in particular,
13 documents that we contend were signed by Dr. Stakic. Most of the
14 documents in dispute, the Defence has admitted that Dr. Stakic authored
15 three documents that were signed in Cyrillic. Most of those that are in
16 dispute are signatures that appear to me to be in Latin and
17 signed "S. Milomir," and I believe the Defence objected to those and
18 raised the issue, I believe Mr. Lukic said it was highly questionable that
19 a document would be signed with the first name of someone who was the
20 president of a municipality or Crisis Staff.
21 We asked Your Honours for an order to seize the documents that
22 were written by the accused since his detention in the custody of the
23 Detention Unit and also documents that he had on him at the time of the
24 arrest, and Your Honours were kind enough to grant that order on the 5th
25 of July, I believe.
1 The order specifically excluded material in the cell of the
2 accused. When we asked for this order, we were aware that Dr. Stakic had
3 certain documents in his possession at the time of his arrest that were
4 turned over by the Office of the Prosecutor to the Registrar. When we got
5 back the material from Judge Lindholm, those documents were not included.
6 And I had asked my investigators to track those down, and I received the
7 information this morning that apparently the documents were photocopied by
8 the OTP, and then handed over to the OLAD unit. We received information
9 from Melinda Taylor today that those documents had been given to the
10 Detention Unit and that the Detention Unit reported to her this morning
11 that there's a note on the file indicating that, except for certain
12 passports and I believe a driver's license that was retained, all other
13 documents were turned over to the accused, and they believe that they are
14 in his cell. I think that's speculation, but they were turned over to the
15 accused since his detention, and he hasn't been released since that time.
16 Directing Your Honours' attention, for example, to the documents
17 in front of you, the page -- I am just going to use the ERN stamp on the
18 top, the page that ends with the numbers 204. I believe this has to do,
19 this document, with a customs violation or customs something, kind of a
20 demand from the customs unit in Yugoslavia or Serbia. And there's a
21 signature on the bottom right which I believe appears to be the same as
22 the signatures on many of the Crisis Staff documents.
23 Going to page 205, which appears to be something to do with an
24 airline ticket, on the bottom left, there's a signature that appears to me
25 to be S. Milomir.
1 Going to page 208, there are two receipts for rent, and the
2 signature of the rentor on the bottom left of each of the documents
3 appears to be the same signature that is disputed on the Crisis Staff
4 documents, S. Milomir.
5 Going to page 209, there is another document from Luka Beograd.
6 And again, the signature under the words "primio" appears to be similar to
7 the S. Milomir signatures in dispute.
8 And the very last page, on page 721, you see under "primio" the S.
9 Milomir signature. These, I think, are highly relevant in that they were
10 on the accused at the time of his arrest.
11 I don't believe under my domestic -- my experience in domestic
12 jurisdiction, or any jurisdiction, a person in a detention unit has an
13 expectation of privacy as to their documents in a cell, otherwise, there
14 wouldn't be security in those units.
15 I have two alternative requests: One is that the Defence agrees -
16 which of course they do not have to and it should not be held against them
17 - to provide these documents, or secondly that Your Honour order the
18 Detention Unit to go -- we can give them an exact copy of the documents
19 we're looking for, to look in his cell and see if they can find these
20 documents, the reason being although the handwriting experts will get some
21 use from the photocopies, it is much, much preferable to them to have the
22 original signatures, which I'm not sure -- I have to admit I'm not sure
23 that the documents that we're talking about are "original" originals,
24 whether Dr. Stakic had photocopies in his possession or had originals in
25 his possession. That I'm not sure of because I haven't seen them.
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: No doubt that a forensic handwriting expert
2 needs originals, not photocopies. But if I understand correctly, the
3 documents were handed over to the OTP, and then photocopies were taken,
4 and the originals given back?
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: That is what I found out, yes.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It seems not to be professional. But we have to
7 resolve this issue. Of course, there is no obligation, but I remember
8 when there was a review whether or not the documents were privileged or
9 not, Mr. Lukic was present. Probably, he can, if he so wants only, to
10 help us out whether there were originals or only photocopies. You can
11 discuss this, of course, and ever before answering.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: With the Court's permission, I'd like to address
13 that point because I spoke to Mr. Koumjian from the OTP in connection with
14 these documents, and perhaps he can clarify further. These were not
15 documents that the Defence had in its possession or were transmitted to
16 the OTP during or subsequent to the Court's order. So -- and I just
17 wanted clarification on that, and I think Mr. Koumjian is nodding, but I
18 would rather have it on the record. These are documents that were
19 provided, in our opinion, and I have an objection to it specifically,
20 ex parte without the Defence or the Defence lawyers at any time having any
21 knowledge or any information about these documents. They were held in
22 abeyance from us at all times until now, this morning, when they were
23 tendered to us, apparently when they were again reviewed by Mr. Koumjian
24 and his team of investigators.
25 So if the Court's question is whether we were present when
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 originals were photocopied and given to the OTP, I think Mr. Koumjian can
2 answer that, and the answer is an unequivocal "no." Because today is the
3 first time that we received a copy of these documents and I've never seen
4 the original in any form.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think the Defence can only act as one act, and
6 it should be relatively easy for Mr. Lukic, having been present during the
7 review, to identify whether or not these documents were in the envelope
8 received from the Detention Unit and opened in his presence by
9 Judge Lindholm.
10 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, these documents were not in the envelope
11 which was opened in my presence.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This means that there is an additional request
13 by the OTP?
14 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And I understand it, a request for a search and
16 seizure order as regards the cell unit of Dr. Stakic limited to the
17 originals of the documents we have in photocopy before us.
18 MR. KOUMJIAN: Exactly correct, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stays adjourned until 11.30.
20 --- Break taken at 11.16 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
23 The Defence has heard the request by the Office of the Prosecutor.
24 You have, of course, now the right to respond.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. With respect to this
1 request, we would like initially for the record to state that we would
2 incorporate our arguments that we had set forth for the Court initially
3 during the initial request for the subpoena, and for the same bases as
4 I've outlined at that time, we think the request should, or the
5 supplemental request, should likewise be denied.
6 In addition, however, we think there are two additional relevant
7 and important matters that need to be addressed with respect to this
8 additional supplemental request. First, we think that this request is far
9 beyond the parameters of relevance and necessity. The OTP has not only
10 the burden of proof in this case, as we've outlined, but on each and every
11 issue, we believe they are required to set forth at least the prima facie
12 basis as to why those documents are reasonable. By merely stating that
13 they had the documents in their possession, had them photocopied, and
14 never gave it to the Defence at any time, although we believe the Rules
15 specifically would have allowed and directed them to provide us with
16 copies of those documents throughout the proceedings, but most
17 specifically at the time when this issue was raised, the OTP should have
18 immediately put us on notice, should have immediately given us copies of
19 those documents, and we would have immediately - as opposed to now within
20 the last 10 or so minutes - consulted with our client in connection with
21 those issues. We have been denied that. We have been denied, in essence,
22 a fair proceeding, in our opinion respectfully.
23 In addition to that, we think what the OTP is, in reality, doing
24 is trying to change the law of the appellate court that was cited during
25 our earlier objection regarding handwriting samples. It's one thing to
1 take the position to suggest - and the case is obviously the Delalic case
2 in Celebici - is to ask the Court for a handwriting sample which is
3 specifically prohibited. But does it really not equate to the same thing,
4 as opposed to asking an accused for handwriting samples, the OTP in every
5 case merely waits in the bushes, allows the accused to write letters to
6 his family, correspond with his counsel, correspond with other members or
7 friends in the community, and then in the middle of the trial ask for
8 those samples of handwriting.
9 The OTP knew which elements were required in this case from the
10 outset, as set forth in their pretrial brief that they filed months before
11 the trial commenced. We believe that this is an attempt to override and
12 an attempt through the back door to circumvent the decisional authority
13 that has been decided by the appellate chamber and that this Court, we
14 believe, has followed rather closely.
15 For those two reasons, Your Honour, we ask that their motion to
16 supplement these documents be summarily denied.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
18 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Admittedly, the Trial Chamber was surprised by
20 this request, but the request seems to be only consequent and we have to
21 take care that we do the necessary without violating the principle of
22 proportionality. Therefore, for the reasons given in our decision of
23 5 July, 2002 and taking into account the arguments given by the OTP and by
24 the Defence today, the Trial Chamber orders that, only for the purpose of
25 finding the originals of the documents handed over to us some minutes ago,
1 a search in the cell unit of Dr. Stakic should be executed. But this
2 should not be executed before Dr. Stakic returns to the cell unit, but on
3 the other hand, Dr. Stakic will be not allowed to enter the cell unit
4 before this enforcement of this order can take place. The search should
5 take place, or has to take place, in the presence of a witness of the
6 United Nations Detention Unit, and it should be executed, as mentioned
7 beforehand, immediately, and it's restricted only to finding the originals
8 of these documents.
9 Having found these documents, once again, the documents should be
10 put into an envelope. This envelope has to be sealed. And then in
11 analogy, the procedure has to follow as it was set out in our decision of
12 5 July 2002, and the review should be conducted by
13 Judge Per Lindholm in the presence of counsel for Dr. Stakic.
14 We believe that the Prosecutor, by showing us the examples, has
15 established that it is necessary to have these documents in the original
16 version. And as regards the opinion of the Defence, it is, of course, not
17 to take handwriting samples; it is to take documents which were, for
18 totally different reasons, were produced in the past. And we already,
19 when discussing the draft for the decision of 5 July 2002, we balanced the
20 interests of the parties and came to the conclusion that, indeed, there
21 would be no obstacle to obtain such documents not prepared for the purpose
22 of getting here during trial new handwriting samples. Therefore, we
23 expect that the OTP is able to conduct this exercise today.
24 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you. Yes, obviously, that's necessary.
25 Would Your Honour like me to mark as an exhibit these eight pages that
1 I've shown Your Honour? And I think the record might be clearer if they
2 were made an exhibit.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: For these purposes, but only for these purposes,
4 I think it's necessary to have these eight pages as -- marked as exhibits.
5 Objections by the Defence? It's now on the photocopies we have
6 before us.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes. Your Honour, there's no objection to
8 proceeding in marking those eight pages as Mr. Koumjian does direct. I do
9 have a practical issue with the Court's order, if I may address with the
10 Court at this time respectfully.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: We recognise and understand Your Honours' ruling.
13 Respectfully, we disagree with it. However, my practical problem with
14 respectfully disagreeing with the Court is that our rights to proceed with
15 a potential appeal have to be discussed, digested, possibly debated
16 between the client and the team involved. We think, if the Court would be
17 kind enough to modify its order to - and I understand the urgency from
18 the Court's point of view, again respectfully disagreeing with it - to
19 have this seizure take place, but that the documents do not be tendered to
20 the OTP for examination until we have come to a conclusion under our
21 rights under the Rules within seven days to ask for an interlocutory
22 appeal on this issue. It's not a delay. We're not asking the Court to in
23 any way interfere with the logic that has been shared with us in the
24 decision. However, we think we still have some rights and would like to
25 determine whether or not we would exercise those rights in a timely
2 So what I would propose, if I may, is that if the Court orders the
3 seizure, that the documents be kept in the possession and retention of an
4 authorised person, such as a member of the Detention Unit, today, from
5 what I can understand from the Court's ruling, and give us an opportunity
6 to respond as to what, if any, objection we have as to proceeding with the
7 next step, i.e. presenting it to the judge and then having the OTP and the
8 Defence counsel examine that together.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let me address this immediately because it has
10 already been resolved, this problem. Please find in our decision, and I
11 said it had to be applied analogously. In the end, when it comes how to
12 enforce a decision, we stated that all remedies available under the Rules
13 remain untouched. And for the purposes of today's search and seizure,
14 this does mean, in the light of what we heard now, that the sealed
15 envelope has to be given immediately to Judge Lindholm and will not be
16 opened before you had the right under the Rules to ask for certification
17 for an appeal. I think it's --
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let's turn to the documents. The
20 former -- the document with the number ending with 203, 204 will be S220.
21 205 will be S221. Is it correct that there is no 206, 207?
22 MR. KOUMJIAN: Yes, that is correct.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then 208, S222. 209, 223. 212, S224. Ending
24 with 198, S225. Ending with 721, S226.
25 MR. KOUMJIAN: I believe, Your Honour, that the number on the
1 photocopy is cut off. I believe that's 7211, that last document, because
2 there should be eight digits in total.
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes, right. But you agree, we can't read it
4 from the document, so the ending number is --
5 MR. KOUMJIAN: Just to explain to the Defence what I think the
6 answer is, these numbers are not -- there are some numbers like 206 and
7 207 that are missing because this is a selection of the ones that we
8 thought contained the signatures we were interested in. So if Mr. Ostojic
9 or Mr. Lukic wants the other documents, they can be provided.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So I expect the necessary to be done and the
11 Detention Unit to be informed beforehand that the procedure can be
12 executed as expected.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Your Honour. If I could be excused to
14 try to arrange this, this afternoon. Mr. Waidyaratne will carry on.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Then may the witness, if there are
16 no other issues -- but please bring the witness, yes.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: The only other issue is we will take the OTP's offer
18 on providing us with a complete set of documents that are in their
19 possession that they took from our client. So that would be nice. Even
20 though we are close to the end of their case, we would appreciate it in
21 any event. Thank you.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's fair enough, and it was offered.
23 Do you think you can finalise within the next 90 minutes?
24 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I think probably, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then we give you the necessary leeway, having
1 had now a longer and short break. But in order to come to a conclusion,
2 please proceed then.
3 MR. WAIDYARATNE: I would. Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please, our apologies for this unforeseeable
5 interruption of your examination. It will now proceed. Thank you.
6 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 May I at this stage ask for private session, Your Honour. There
8 may be some answers that he will touch upon some personal identification.
9 So, therefore, may I request a private session at this stage.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: No objection, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session, please.
12 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
13 [Private session]
12 Pages 6238 to 6247 – redacted – private session.
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
23 MR. WAIDYARATNE:
24 Q. Witness, you said that even the local mosque was destroyed or
25 damaged. Did you see the local mosque?
1 A. I did because we had to pass by the local mosque on our way to the
3 Q. What did you observe?
4 A. The mosque had also been set on fire. There were no longer any
5 door frames or window frames on it. The minaret was down. It had
6 collapsed, I think to the west. That is how we found it.
7 Q. This is the mosque in Kamicani. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, how long did you stay in Trnopolje?
10 A. Until they closed down the camp, that is, until the 1st of
12 Q. How did you get your food during the time that you spent in the
14 A. At the beginning, there was a Red Cross vehicle, just an ordinary
15 vehicle, which was used by the people, that is, the employees of the local
16 Red Cross. Those people were from Prijedor. Which vehicle was used by
17 them to bring bread, and we would form a line when this truck arrived and
18 each of us could get two slices of bread. This lasted only for a while at
19 the very beginning. And soon after, the population of the neighbouring
20 houses, that is, the people who lived in the vicinity, mostly women,
21 started bringing us food. So while these people were still there, it was
22 possible for us to get some food from them, from acquaintances or
23 relatives, depending on who you knew.
24 Q. Were you provided with medical facilities, medicines, during the
25 time that you spent in Trnopolje?
1 A. There were a few doctors there, Bosniaks, who had been given a
2 room which was in the local commune building in Trnopolje. And detainees
3 could go to them for help. I don't know what problems other people had.
4 I myself suffered from kidney pain. I must have had some kind of
5 inflammation, and I did go to see these people, these doctors. They told
6 me that they knew what it was but they couldn't do anything to help me.
7 They didn't have any medical supplies. But they told me that my condition
8 was not a life-threatening one, and they gave me some other medicine, the
9 one that they had -- the only one they could give me.
10 Q. Witness, did you see people with injuries or any beatings that
11 took place in the camp, while you were in the camp?
12 A. Yes, I did. During my stay there, which was not a short one, from
13 the beginning until the end, people were taken out for interrogation and
14 then taken back. When I say "interrogation," that is what they -- that is
15 what they called it. I don't know what they did with them. But very
16 often, they would come back badly beaten and covered with blood. I don't
17 know what questions had been asked of them but they often came back
18 injured, with wounds that had to be treated.
19 Q. Did you see any person die or being killed in the camp? I may say
20 "die" in the camp.
21 A. Inside the camp proper, I did see one person die. And I
22 heard -- I was informed that many people did die indeed, but I did see
23 this one person whose name I did not know. That was midway through my
24 stay in the camp. People were being brought in from the surroundings of
25 Prijedor, Hambarine, and those villages over there. We were sleeping
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 outside, so those people, too, were next to where I was in the camp. This
2 was an elderly man. I'm not sure what the reason was but he had to use
3 the toilet all the time. So this went on like that for two or three days,
4 and that's where he then died. Perhaps dysentery or something like that.
5 That's what I heard had been the cause of his death, but no one can say
6 really, I suppose.
7 Q. Was he provided with any medical assistance or medicines?
8 A. The man was there next to me, and I never saw any doctors
9 attending his illness. And perhaps had he been given the proper
10 medicines, he would not have died.
11 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Your Honour, would this be a convenient moment
12 to break, or I would go on for another 10 or 15 minutes if it's okay,
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Then I would be able to conclude my examination.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
17 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you.
18 Q. Did you see any persons being called out and taken out of the
20 A. Yes. During my stay in the camp, I was an eyewitness to several
21 occasions where police officers, Serb police officers, would enter the
22 camp. Two of them, they stood there at the perimeter for a while, for
23 perhaps 15 or 20 minutes, looking completely disinterested. After a
24 while, they approached a group of persons who were sleeping, quite
25 literally, next to an outbuilding. One of the group approached them in
1 turn, a man I knew, and then one of the police officers offered him a
2 cigarette. He lit the cigarette. I did not even overhear their
3 conversation, but judging by their gestures, I had the impression that
4 they were acquaintances. Perhaps if they had something against that man,
5 they wouldn't have offered him the cigarette. Maybe they would have
6 beaten him. That was my impression. So while he was still smoking, he
7 went back to where he had come from, and then he returned again with
8 another five people, so there were six of them. And at one point, they
9 all began talking to one another. And after a brief conversation, they
10 moved and went behind the building that we had earlier described as the
12 Once they reached the corner of that building, I saw that the six
13 of them had their hands behind their heads, and they moved towards the
14 exit of the camp. And at that moment, my impression was that the scene
15 was strange, and other people who watched this said the same because the
16 conversation at first seemed friendly. But then they were made to put
17 their hands behind their heads when they reached the corner of the house.
18 And then 15, 20 minutes, perhaps half an hour later, we heard sounds of
19 shooting from semi-automatic weapons. Shots were fired. I did not see
20 this but I heard those shots. And after the initial barrage, there were
21 individual shots, and I could count them. I could discern them clearly.
22 There were six shots being fired. But even at that point, I could not
23 know exactly what had happened. After a few days, a group of people from
24 the camp went to bury the bodies of those six people, which probably
25 implied that they had on that occasion been killed behind that building.
1 Q. Did you -- you said that you knew the man who was given the
2 cigarette. Do you remember the name of the person? Do you recall the
4 A. Yes. His name was Zilhad Foric
5 Q. Did you recognise any others with him who were taken with him?
6 A. Yes. His brother, whose name I don't know; his two neighbours,
7 also by the last name of Foric. So I can remember their father's name but
8 I can't give you their names now. I know the name of one of their
9 brothers who is still alive but, well, you see, I can't remember now. And
10 there were another two persons. They were also brothers. I did not know
11 them, but they came from the same village of Forici. So there were three
12 couples of brothers who had been taken off. And then the other two
13 persons whose names I didn't know, their father's name was Rasim. And one
14 of these persons was called Zihad, and the other I can't remember.
15 Q. The six people with the last name Foric, is that correct?
16 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Witness, when you were in the camp, were you able to move out and
18 into the camp freely?
19 A. Move in and out freely, no, we were not allowed to. But we drank
20 the water we got from across the way from where the camp was because there
21 was no drinking water inside the camp. So we had to queue up, normally.
22 And guards at the checkpoint where we were crossing the road would let us
23 cross two by two to go and fetch the water. So we took turns two by two.
24 That was the moment when you could actually leave the camp.
25 As early as August, I think it was late August when those water
1 supplies that we were using were practically exhausted, and those women
2 could no longer bring us food in the camp because they had been expelled
3 from the area and no longer lived in the surroundings. Whenever the
4 guards were well disposed, they would allow us to go and forage for food
5 in the surrounding houses, whatever food was still there left behind for
6 us to eat. So these were the only opportunities we got to actually leave
7 the camp.
8 Q. Just briefly before we end, what about the women and the females
9 that were in the camp? Did you see them being harassed or being taken out
10 of the camp?
11 A. Women in the camp. From the very beginning to, I believe, the
12 month of August, women, but not only women, also children, were brought
13 in, women and children who had been expelled from the surrounding
14 villages. They would usually put them up in the cinema hall and part of
15 the area behind the camp. Sometimes they would stay for three, five,
16 seven days, and then they would be transported further by rail and taken
17 off somewhere. We did not know where these women and children were being
19 As far as harassment of women is concerned, during my stay, I did
20 not notice any such cases. But one particular night, when there were
21 people inside the camp who had come from outside, from the surrounding
22 area, supposedly soldiers arrived in the camp who were not camp guards but
23 members of some combat unit who were doing, well, I guess only they knew
24 what, in the Kozarac area. They came during the night, and they would
25 take off women and girls and take these women and girls along with them,
1 some of whom were returned the following day, and some even later. I
2 should suppose that they had been raped. My only knowledge of that was
3 that the following day, the camp commander himself was in the camp - that
4 was Kuruzovic - and he was surrounded by a group of women. I approached
5 them as their conversation was ending, and I only heard him say the
6 following. He said: "I'll look into this matter. This must not happen
7 again." And of course I asked the women what they were talking about.
8 And those were mothers and sisters who had been taken off to be raped, and
9 they complained to him while they were still inside the camp. And I
10 thought this was a brave gesture on their part to approach him and ask him
11 about it.
12 Q. Witness, you left Trnopolje on the 1st of October, 1992. Am I
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Thank you, Your Honour. That concludes the
16 examination-in-chief. Thank you.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. The trial stays adjourned until 5
18 minutes past 1.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.44 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.08 p.m.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Witness U, for the purposes
22 of a fairly conducted trial, it's now for the Defence to put forward to
23 you some additional questions. And please answer them in the same way you
24 did as vis-a-vis the Prosecutor. Thank you for your understanding.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Ostojic:
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Witness U. My name is John Ostojic, and along
4 with Branko Lukic, we represent Dr. Milomir Stakic. I will be asking you
5 a series of questions here this afternoon, as the Court has informed you,
6 and I appreciate your candor in responding to them. You are still under
7 oath, sir.
8 Do you understand me?
9 A. Yes, fully.
10 Q. Can you tell me, sir, in the village and area of which you grew up
11 and came, whether anyone else shared the same last name and first name
12 other than yourself?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you want to go in private session?
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, okay.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Private session, please.
17 [Private session]
12 Pages 6258 to 6264 – redacted – private session.
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please proceed.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Sir, earlier --
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Usher may take away the list, please. Take away
24 the list, please.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. Sir, earlier today, you testified about various checkpoints that
2 inhibited you from going to the Prijedor area, if you recall. My question
3 to you, sir: Prior to April of 1992, were you aware of any Muslim
4 checkpoints that were put up in any part of the Prijedor Municipality?
5 A. Prior to April, no.
6 Q. How about during the month of April 1992, sir, were you aware of
7 any checkpoints?
8 A. In the Kozarac area, the TO was active, and I think that in May
9 checkpoints were set up in Kozarac itself. Not only do I think so but I
10 know it for a fact. That's the road into Kozarac.
11 Q. We'll discuss May in a moment, but with respect to April, are you
12 familiar whether or not the Territorial Defence, as you've identified them
13 in your previous answer, in Kozarac actually developed any or had any
14 checkpoints in April of 1992?
15 A. I couldn't say with any degree of certainty.
16 Q. With respect --
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Respectfully, Your Honour, there is a disagreement
18 with respect to the interpretation of the answer provided on line 18 of
19 page 63 of this witness's prior statement. And perhaps we could assist by
20 sharing with the Court and the interpreter what we believe the witness
21 said and how it was interpreted. I don't know if --
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think it's appropriate if you put the same
23 question once more briefly to the witness, and then let's see how the
24 translation will read.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Witness U, is it your testimony that you cannot say positively
2 or negatively whether or not there were Muslim checkpoints set up in April
3 of 1992?
4 A. I can't answer. It's not that I can't answer, I do not know in
5 that sense. The answer is neither yes nor no.
6 Q. Now, turning to May of 1992, I think you stated that you knew or
7 you knew for a fact that there were checkpoints in the Kozarac area. How
8 did you, sir, come to know that there were checkpoints that were manned
9 exclusively by the Muslim residents or the Muslims of the Territorial
10 Defence in Kozarac in May of 1992?
11 MR. WAIDYARATNE: Excuse me, Your Honour. May I -- to clarify a
12 point whether the witness said that there were exclusively Muslim
13 checkpoints, I don't see any reference to Muslim checkpoints, neither in
14 the answer --
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Fair enough. Please rephrase the question.
16 MR. OSTOJIC:
17 Q. Sir, in May of 1992 in the Kozarac area, how many checkpoints were
18 you aware of?
19 A. There was one.
20 Q. And where was that, sir?
21 A. It was on the road when you leave Kozarac, that is, the approach
22 road leading up to the main road, Prijedor/Banja Luka Road, not far from
23 the sawmill, some 200 metres away, thereabouts. But this was in May,
24 sometime in May prior to the events which took place as of the 24th of
1 Q. We'll get to the 24th of May in due course. But prior to that,
2 the checkpoint that you were familiar with, sir, can you identify for us
3 by whom was it manned?
4 A. The control was carried out by the members of the Prijedor
5 Territorial Defence, that is, the people from the area of Kozarac who were
6 officially members of the Prijedor Territorial Defence.
7 Q. Help me understand this, sir: Is it your testimony that there was
8 a separate Territorial Defence known as the TO of Kozarac and then yet
9 another Territorial Defence identified as the Territorial Defence of
10 Prijedor within that time period?
11 A. No. What I'm saying is that the Territorial Defence, that is,
12 when I speak about the Territorial Defence, I am referring to the people,
13 member of the reserve force of the Yugoslav army and who were active in
14 the area of Kozarac and whose command was located somewhere in the area of
16 Q. What was the ethnic makeup of those people within that Territorial
17 Defence organisation that you're referencing, sir, that was at the
18 checkpoint near the road exiting Kozarac?
19 A. The makeup of the Territorial Defence, as far as the people whom I
20 knew are concerned, was mixed, people from various ethnic groups,
21 including Muslims.
22 Q. Sir, did you not say "the majority of which were Muslims"?
23 A. Yes, that's what I said.
24 Q. We're having a little trouble with respect to the interpretation,
25 and I thought you said that. When you say "majority were Muslims," sir,
1 of that checkpoint, can you quantify that for me?
2 A. There may have been a misunderstanding. I was referring to the
3 members of the Territorial Defence whom I knew in Kozarac. Specifically
4 as regards this checkpoint, I wasn't referring to this very checkpoint a
5 moment ago.
6 Q. Let's take it one step at a time, if we may. With respect to the
7 members of the Territorial Defence that you were aware of, I believe it's
8 your testimony that the majority of them were Muslims. Can you quantify
9 that amount for us?
10 A. As regards my assessment of the actual number, I don't want to
11 make a mistake. I can only speak about the people whom I knew personally,
12 people who were members of the civilian Territorial Defence. As for the
13 overall composition of the force, I cannot say anything. I'm not familiar
14 with it.
15 Q. Do you know what other ethnic groups were members of this civil
16 Territorial Defence that you reference in which you had known the majority
17 of Muslims made the composition of such?
18 A. So your question is who else was there, apart from Muslims,
19 members of which other ethnic groups, as far as I understand your
21 Q. Correct.
22 A. Like I said, all of them were there, I mean all -- there were
23 people whom I knew by name and surname who were members of this
24 Territorial Defence and were of Serb ethnicity whom I would see from time
25 to time in uniforms of the Territorial Defence. But as regards the actual
1 number, I cannot tell you much about that. I can only speak about some
3 Q. Just a couple questions if I may, in light of the time, ask on
4 this point, sir. Is it your testimony that in May of 1992, the
5 Territorial Defence was composed of both Muslim, Serb, and Croatian
7 A. In May, I don't know what the makeup was in the end but the
8 Territorial Defence was of mixed nature, of mixed character. When we talk
9 about various formations, there were people from various ethnic groups who
10 were members of the Territorial Defence.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, I'm not sure if this is a good time to
12 break in light of the time. I think we're only allowed the courtroom
13 until 1.45. I obviously have more, and I may take another hour and-a-half
14 to two hours, Your Honour, just to let you know.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In the light of this, indeed --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: My apologies. It's necessary to have a break
18 now, and we continue then for another line of questions. Apparently you
19 said one and-a-half to two hours tomorrow?
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour, at the most.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then this concludes the 54th day of the
22 hearing. And I may ask the witness to come back tomorrow for additional
23 questions, both by the Defence and probably additional questions by the
24 Judges. Thank you for assisting us today. And resume tomorrow,
25 9.00 -- sorry, tomorrow in the afternoon at 14.15, and the courtroom will
1 be Courtroom I.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
4 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on
5 Tuesday, the 23rd day of July, 2002,
6 at 2.15 p.m.