1 Wednesday, 20 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. Good morning to everybody.
6 May we 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 the appearances, please.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Good morning, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian with
11 Ruth Karper for the Office of the Prosecutor.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the Defence.
13 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Branko Lukic and
14 Danilo Cirkovic for the Defence.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
16 Are there any obstacles to immediately start with today's first
17 witness, which would be if I count correctly number 56?
18 MR. LUKIC: Hopefully there are no obstacles, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: From your side. And let me just check. No
20 protective measures at all?
21 MR. LUKIC: No protective measures for any of these witnesses
22 today, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Okay. Then may I ask the usher to bring in
24 Witness Sasa Milosevic. Is it Sasa or Sasa?
25 MR. LUKIC: Sasa.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Sasa Milosevic. Can you hear
3 me in a language you understand?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Yes, I can.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Could you please be so kind and give us your
6 solemn declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated. You are a witness
10 for the Defence.
11 Please, Mr. Lukic.
12 WITNESS: SASA MILOSEVIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Milosevic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. For the record, can you please state your name.
18 A. Sasa Milosevic.
19 Q. When were you born?
20 A. 10 February, 1982.
21 Q. Where were you born?
22 A. In Sijekovac.
23 Q. Where do you live today?
24 A. In Sijekovac.
25 Q. In 1992, you were ten, in March of 1992?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us what happened on the 26th of March, 1992? What
3 happened to you and your family?
4 A. On the 26th of March, 1992, around half past 3.00 or 4.00 in the
5 afternoon, the Croatian army launched an attack on our village. I lived
6 with my father, my mother, and my two brothers. Around half past 3.00,
7 shells started falling on our houses. Ten minutes later, the army entered
8 the village and started shooting at us. Together with my mother and my
9 brother, I went to my neighbour's basement. My father and my older
10 brother remained in our courtyard.
11 Some 20 minutes later, the Croatian army entered the village, came
12 to the cellar where we were, and they started swearing at us. They
13 started beating us. We were there for some 10 minutes or so. Then they
14 took us out from that basement with our hands behind our heads. They beat
15 us with rifle butts. They kicked us with their legs, and then they -- we
16 had to kneel in a hole, in a muddy hole. And then all the men were
17 separated from the rest of the group, and they took me into a basement.
18 And one of them told me: "I'm going to slay you now. I'm going to
19 slaughter you." I started crying, and then he changed his mind and said I
20 won't do it now. And then he told me to get up and start walking towards
21 the main road.
22 Then he told my 17-year-old brother to lay down on the ground.
23 When he did that, he kicked him with an army boot. And there he remained
24 on the ground lying on the ground. And when we started walking, he
25 couldn't join us.
1 And then Zemir Kovacevic started killing elderly people. The
2 main person there was Nijaz Causevic, also known as Medo.
3 Q. Can you please repeat the name of the person who started killing
4 people immediately?
5 A. Zemir Kovacevic.
6 Q. Can you please continue.
7 A. Then we started walking towards the main road, and Zemir Kovacevic
8 killed two people there. In my vicinity, maybe half a metre away from me,
9 one of these two men was around 70 years old, and the other was a
10 handicapped man. That's what I saw.
11 Q. Do you remember the names of the people who were killed?
12 A. Yes, I do. Jovo Zecevic, and Petar Zecevic; a father and a son,
13 they were.
14 Q. Where were you taken after that?
15 A. After that, we were taken to a Croatian house. All of our
16 neighbours were there. They were armed and they wore Croatian military
17 uniforms with the HVO insignia. Nijaz Causevic came at that moment; he is
18 also known as Medo. He took us to a public building. And he told us to
19 wait there for a while. There were a lot of troops, of their troops
20 there. And then Nijaz Causevic came again, and he tried to scare us by
21 repeating his -- by cocking his rifle, by pointing his rifle at us. He
22 told us: "Wait here for my return."
23 And then a Muslim came. I don't know his first name, but his last
24 name is [redacted]. And he took us to his place. And he told us: "Unless
25 you come with me, you will all die." We stayed at his place, hidden at
1 his place for two days. And then he transported us to the barricades in
2 Derventa, and this is where we went.
3 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Your Honour, if you don't mind, I would
4 ask for this name to be redacted. Actually -- the last name of the Muslim
5 man, it's not in the transcript, but maybe --
6 MR. KOUMJIAN: It's line 21.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It would appear on line 21, yes.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please redact from page 4, line 21, the first
10 and the second name. Please proceed.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Where did you go in Derventa? What side did you
13 go to?
14 A. We went to the side where Serbs were.
15 Q. You and your mother went?
16 A. Yes, and all the other neighbours who were together with us.
17 Q. What did your mother -- what was your mother's ethnic background?
18 A. She was a Croat.
19 Q. What happened to your father and to the brothers whom you had left
20 behind in Sijekovac?
21 A. They must have been killed because I have never found out where
22 they are.
23 Q. When you arrived at Derventa, did you hear anything about this
24 massacre in Sijekovac in the media?
25 A. Yes. We saw everything in -- on Jutel television, and I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 recognised some of it.
2 Q. You recognised the bodies of the people that the Croat army did
3 not manage to move away?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, but
7 please remain in your place because maybe the Prosecutor and the Judges
8 will have some questions for you.
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Prosecution, please.
10 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Koumjian:
12 Q. Mr. Milosevic, I just have a couple questions for you. The
13 neighbour that saved your life and helped you and your mother, you said he
14 was a Muslim. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did he do that for money? Or did he do that on his own?
17 A. Not for money. He did it on his own initiative.
18 Q. You, Mr. Milosevic, were very young at the time. You still don't
19 know for certain where your brother and where your father are, or where
20 their bodies are. Correct?
21 A. That is correct. I don't know.
22 Q. Can you tell the Court how it feels to have family members
23 disappeared and never know what happened to them or where their bodies
25 A. It feels terrible. I would like to know at least where their
1 graves are so that I can go there and light a candle for them.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: No further questions.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Only one additional question from my side.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Do you know by chance: Was there until now any
7 prosecution in your home country against the offenders responsible for the
8 crimes you described earlier today?
9 A. No, there hasn't been any prosecution.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then the follow-up question: Being aware that
11 in your home country, these crimes are not prosecuted in a proper way or
12 not prosecuted at all, it depends where the crimes have been committed and
13 who are the responsibles now, the international society had decided to set
14 up this Tribunal responsible for all, and I emphasise, all serious
15 violations of international humanitarian law committed on the territory of
16 the Former Yugoslavia since 1999. And therefore, there is a realistic
17 possibility that in the future, your testimony as given today will be
18 needed in other cases against the responsibles for the crimes you
19 described today.
20 Do you agree that this, what has been written down from your
21 testimony, is used also in other cases?
22 A. Yes, I do. I agree.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
24 Judge Vassylenko. Judge Argibay.
25 No further questions from our side. Then it remains for me to
1 thank you, not only for coming, but also for giving testimony which is
2 extremely important to see the balance, to see what happened on all
3 sides. And it remains only for me to wish you a safe return and a better
4 future in your home country. Thank you for coming. You're excused for
5 today. May I ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom. Thank
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, and goodbye.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Defence is prepared to continue with Witness
10 26, which would be Zarko Garic?
11 MR. LUKIC: [In English] Yes, Your Honour. Zarko Garic.
12 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then we have to wait until the usher is able to
13 bring in this witness. May I ask, any additional administrative matters
14 to be settled in the meantime? Not from the side of the Prosecution?
15 MR. KOUMJIAN: Nothing new, Your Honour.
16 MR. LUKIC: Nothing on our side right now, Your Honour. I just
17 wanted to mention that this was the first our promised 15-minutes witness.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You announced this already the 16th of April, if
19 I recall correctly, but you overstepped two minutes.
20 Yes, may I ask, please, once again for a correction. On line 13,
21 page 7, 1991 instead of 1999.
22 One more technical question, the documents distributed yesterday,
23 the testimony -- or the statements of the six persons, I don't know
24 whether the Prosecution or the Defence want to have any protection;
25 therefore, I don't want to quote the six names. But you're aware what I'm
1 discussing right now. Are they tendered? Are these documents tendered by
2 the Prosecution?
3 MR. KOUMJIAN: They are not tendered into evidence. They are
4 given as the disclosures.
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is any party prepared to tender these documents?
6 MR. LUKIC: As I mentioned yesterday, Your Honour, I didn't have
7 time to go through the documents, so I really cannot tell now. But
8 hopefully, all of these witnesses would be testifying in front of this
9 Chamber. So I don't know if it's necessary right now to have them
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It might be necessary in order to discuss them
12 in detail. So therefore, I think the first right is for the Prosecution.
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, Your Honour, we're not tendering statements
14 not under oath, not given in oral evidence before the Court, and not
15 according to the procedures of 92 bis as evidence. We're perfectly
16 willing to discuss them, and if the Court wants to make them -- well, they
17 are in the possession of the Court. We can discuss them, and if you want
18 to give them a number or something. But we do not believe it would be
19 proper to admit them into evidence because they don't come under any of
20 the rules that allow that.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. This could be discussed, but I take it
22 that for understandable reasons, the Defence wasn't able to read the
23 entire documents until now. But we have to discuss this in the framework
24 of our discussion tomorrow on the upcoming witnesses, no doubt, and
25 therefore I ask all participants to be prepared to discuss this in detail.
1 May I ask the registry, is it correct that the witness is
2 scheduled to arrive only at 9.45?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: So therefore, it's appropriate to have a break
5 already now. And the trial stays adjourned until 10.00.
6 --- Break taken at 9.27 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.01 a.m.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And may I ask the usher to
9 bring in immediately the next witness.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good morning, Mr. Garic. Can you hear me in a
12 language you understand?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. May we please hear your solemn
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated. You're a witness
19 of the Defence.
20 Mr. Lukic, please.
21 WITNESS: ZARKO GARIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Garic. Will you just state
25 your full name for the record, please.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Zarko Garic.
2 Q. When were you born?
3 A. On the 15th of July, 1950.
4 Q. Where were you born?
5 A. Novo Selo.
6 Q. Where do you live?
7 A. Donja Mocila.
8 Q. Gornja or Donja Mocila?
9 A. Gornja.
10 Q. Which municipality is that?
11 A. Bosanski Brod.
12 Q. What happened on the 3rd of March, 1992?
13 A. On the 2nd -- I don't know about the 3rd of March.
14 Q. On the 3rd of March, 1992, wasn't there an attack of the Croatian
15 forces on Bosanski Brod? Can you tell us anything about that?
16 A. I know that this happened in Brod.
17 Q. And what happened on the 2nd of April, 1992?
18 A. On that day, in the afternoon hours, Stevo Dejakovic [phoen] came,
19 Kruna Blazevic [phoen], and they took me to the MUP building in Bosanski
20 Brod. I was taken there. They gave me the uniform of captain first class
21 of the Yugoslav army immediately, and I was put in an isolation cell.
22 Later, I was taken for interrogation.
23 Q. May I please interrupt you. Were you at that time captain first
24 class of the JNA?
25 A. I never served in the Yugoslav army.
1 Q. Can you please continue.
2 A. They asked me why I stayed and why I hadn't left the house
3 alongside with the others, whether I was in possession of any weapons.
4 They asked me that sort of thing. Night began to fall. I was returned to
5 the isolation cell. Some people came over; I didn't know them. They said
6 they had captured some Chetniks. And then they started beating me with
7 rubber Bludgeon sticks, and that last about for about five or six minutes.
8 The next morning, they took me out. My neighbours were there, and
9 I was returned to my house around 12.00. When I came home, Nijaz
10 Causevic, also known as Medo, had already killed our dogs. I then went to
11 see my relative, Nedo. I spent the night there. And the next day, on the
12 4th, two policemen came along. They took me to the stadium camp, the camp
13 that was on a football pitch. At the entrance, at the gate, Drago Lepan
14 was waiting for me, and Pero Marinic, too. There was a man I didn't know,
15 too. And they started beating me immediately.
16 Once I had been beaten, I was put in one of the dressing rooms
17 used by football players. There were about 13 or 14 of us there inside
18 the dressing room. And as it was getting dark, they brought Milan
19 Radovanovic, also known as Kuroga [phoen]. That man had a rather large
20 head. People began to laugh at the expense of the size of his head. They
21 started beating him. He was kicked and beaten and hit almost for the
22 whole night. The next morning he was dead.
23 Throughout the next days, there was training and songs and
24 beatings, maltreatment. And they made us fight each other. After several
25 days, we were taken out and taken to Sijekovac to load bags of sand, to do
1 work for them. And this lasted until the 2nd of May. They brought me and
2 my relative Nedo to Sijekovac, and some people wanted us to stay where we
3 were and not to be taken. But we stayed there as part of this labour
4 platoon. Something was read out to the effect that no one was supposed to
5 beat us. We were about 50 or 60. There were both Muslims and Croats
6 among the group.
7 We started to do labour for them on a daily basis, to dig
8 trenches, to chop wood. We helped repair the houses. We helped demolish
9 houses, Serbian houses, and this was done on a daily basis. And then
10 Nijaz Causevic started to come more often, a man also known as Medo.
11 Zemir Kovacevic would also come, too, both Muslim, and then the torture
12 started. They were the ones who beat us. The others didn't. And then
13 when another man was brought -- I can't remember his name. I think it was
14 Mustafa -- he was brought there, and he just looked and said: "What sort
15 of criminals are these?" The work we did for them took about two months
16 and ten days.
17 Zemir Kovacevic, he came and took Neso Bacic [phoen] to Crni. He
18 took Neso Bacic to Crni -- Savo Kusla [phoen] away, they never returned,
19 not to this day. Medo Causevic, Nijaz, also known as Medo, would come.
20 He came, and he said: "They are no longer here to do work." That he
21 needed us, and that was already the 12th of July. He picked us up, put us
22 into two vans - there were 18 of us - and took us to the Tulek camp. At
23 the entrance, there was Alija Zenanic waiting for us. He took away our
24 watches, personal documents, whoever had gold on them, and then we entered
25 the compound of the camp. Once inside the camp, there was Drago Lepan
1 waiting for me. And immediately, he wanted to hang me by my moustache.
2 The next day, works began again. Trenches were dug. The Croatian
3 army arrived. We went to dig trenches for them. This would usually last
4 for about four or five hours, and then we would be returned. I returned,
5 and Pero Marinic was there. He was a guard in this camp. He pulled out
6 his gun as soon as he laid eyes on me, and he said: "This won't hurt a
7 Serb." And then he kicked out my tooth, one of my teeth. And then on a
8 daily basis, we continued to dig trenches. And on our way back, we would
9 be beaten.
10 Q. Let me please interrupt you for a moment. From what time exactly
11 in the morning until when did you dig those trenches? Did this last for
12 five hours, or did you return at 5.00 in the afternoon?
13 A. At 7.00 in the morning, we would be taken for the digging.
14 Croatian soldiers would come and they would take us there to the
15 trenches. And sometimes it would last for as long as -- late as 10.00 in
16 the evening depending on the amount of work that was to be done and the
17 trenches to be dug. At some point, Stuc Anto started to come to the camp.
18 His nickname was Britva. He beat us the worst because he was using a
19 baseball bat.
20 Medo Causevic, I mean Nijaz Causevic, also known as Medo, he used
21 to bring his people from the intervention platoon to rape women. Women
22 would run to our group to hide among us occasionally so that we, too,
23 would be beaten because we helped them to hide.
24 Q. Who was Djordjo Stojakovic?
25 A. Djordjo Stojakovic, he had been brought from Zagreb. He must have
1 been 75 or 80 years old. A man who had been wounded in front of his own
2 house in Derventa municipality. And he was brought among us with a tube
3 down his throat, and that's where his wound was. After a couple of days,
4 we were transferred from the Tulek camp to the Fric Pavlik camp. Djordjo
5 stayed back at the Tulek camp.
6 Q. Just a minute. What was his nationality?
7 A. He was a Serb.
8 Q. He had first been brought from Derventa in Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 to Zagreb in Croatia, and then he was again returned to Bosanski Brod in
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Can you continue, please.
13 A. We were taken to the Fric Pavlik camp, but he stayed. We were a
14 group of between 8 and 900 people. When we arrived there, the next day,
15 the man who used to - in a manner of speaking - conduct us when we sang
16 the songs they made us sing, as I've told you, Pajic, Mirko, I think, was
17 his name. Then the International Red Cross arrived. Then he wrote
18 something down on a slip of paper. He gave it to a woman who was there.
19 How that came about, I don't know. Ante Golubovic, the camp commander, he
20 came back with that same slip of paper. He read it out. He singled out
21 four men. Three of them came back. Pajic was dragged back, but he
22 expired within minutes. I was only kept there for four days. They would
23 read out the names of a group of eight people. I was among them. And we
24 were sent back to the Tulek camp.
25 Once there, Djordjo was still in decent state, and we were told to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 bury the dead bodies.
2 Q. Who were those dead bodies?
3 A. Serbs. There were all three ethnic groups. We buried the bodies
4 of members of all three ethnic groups. Goran Garic, commander of the
5 Tulek camp, Djordjo opened the big gate, and he let him go. In the
6 morning, we found him in the garage at the graveyard. He was -- he had
7 been all beaten. The tube was missing from his throat, and his wooden leg
8 had been taken off, too. So we buried his body.
9 That was our daily work. We would dig graves. We would then be
10 returned to the Tulek camp, and we would always be beaten. Particularly
11 severe beatings were administered by Ante Stuc, also known as Britva;
12 Pero Marinic; Pero Cvorak. At night, they would come in a drunken state,
13 and the guards would let them. There were night beatings, and during the
14 day we would be taken to the graveyard. And this happened every single
15 day. That's how it was.
16 At the graveyard, I used to mow the grass. I only buried 22 Serb
17 bodies. Perhaps 150 metres away from the graveyard, a large pit had been
18 dug. I only saw it once. A yellow FAP truck brought bodies and tipped
19 them there.
20 Q. Was that the Orthodox cemetery where those bodies were tipped?
21 A. No. That was at the far end of the cemetery which is not really
22 the cemetery. Just next to the fence, that was passed the communist
23 graveyard. I couldn't say exactly, but there was some bodies left in the
24 truck because they didn't manage to tip them off the truck. So two Serbs
25 went to drag the bodies down and to take their clothes off. Miro
1 Kovacevic and Stanisa - I'm not sure about his last name. The other
2 people there continued to bury the bodies, and I was transferred to
3 graveyard maintenance. The Croatian graveyard, that is, the Catholic
4 graveyard, the Muslim graveyard, as well as the communist graveyard. Only
5 the Serb cemetery was not tended.
6 Q. What happened on the 6th of October, 1992?
7 A. On the 6th of October, camp inmates were picked up in order to be
8 taken to Croatia. The three of us, we were taken to the MUP building,
9 just outside the MUP building, and we were forced to carry hand grenades
10 to the bridge. And then a man I didn't know came along; he was drunk. He
11 wanted to slit people's throats. He was asking about brothers; I'm not
12 sure if he knew me or not. Anto Brekalo from Slavonski Brod - that's in
13 Croatia - his task was to bring the three of us to Slavonski Brod. We
14 were on the bridge until 6.30 or 7.00. They loaded us on to -- he loaded
15 us on to his van, and he brought us home. He gave us dinner, because we
16 were acquaintances. We had known each other. The three of us just sat
17 there. He was there, too, with his wife. Then Croatian policemen broke
18 into the house. They were looking for some people. They were asking him
19 about those people, and he said: "The only people left are these three."
20 And they picked him up, too, alongside with us, and took us to the camp
21 near Bardak. Then he --
22 Q. Will you please just state again the name of the place they took
23 you to.
24 A. Camp near Bardak. That's a Serb house with a bowling alley, and
25 there was a camp there. Brkelo was there. He had been detained with us.
1 As soon as I came in, I had to have a fistfight with Sreto Radovanovic.
2 Andrija Jozic made us fight, and Ivica Blazevic also known as Cedo.
3 Brkelo's son said: "Admit old man, and you'll be taken to Orasje." Then
4 eight other people came whom he had hidden so they could help with his
5 bowling alley, the one recently built by Brkelo.
6 Later, two buses arrived. We were a group of about 240 people.
7 They took us as far as the buses, and then the police lined up in two
8 lines, rows, and they beat everyone on their way to the buses. I carried
9 a wounded man on a stretcher. He was quite heavy to lift and get on to
10 the bus. So as I tried to get on to the bus, I was really beaten very
11 badly. The buses set out, and Ivica Blazevic, also known as Cedo, was
12 there -- he escorted us. He's a great friend of mine -- Andrija Jozic,
13 and Zeljo Matkovic. We headed for Orasje via Zupljana. Once we reached
14 Zupljana, Andrija Jozic showed up looking at the door looking for Zarko
15 Garic to be out of the bus in 5 seconds.
16 As soon as I got off the bus, there was a circle of men there
17 consisting of some 7 to 8 people, and they started beating me
18 immediately. And they used all sorts of things to beat me. I would fall
19 down; they would lift me up. But I was still standing on my two feet, and
20 then they got fed up by beating me and they asked two camp inmates to hold
21 me and a third one to beat me. And one among the group said: "Hold on a
22 little and I'll show you how an Ustasha from Herzegovina beats people." He
23 hit me in the back of my head. I fainted, and I don't know how I arrived
24 in Orasje.
25 In the morning, when I came to, I couldn't move my arms or legs.
1 They would take us out. I was taken out by two men. And then people were
2 assigned either to stay in that camp or to be taken to another camp. Then
3 women started throwing stones and potatoes at us, and other things. I was
4 returned to the same place together with some other elderly people.
5 I could not move for the next 12 days. A priest entered the room,
6 and he brought us a hundred packs of cigarettes. All of the others stood
7 up to shake hands with him. I couldn't do that. And he asked me what the
8 matter was with me. And then the others told him: "Well, he fell off the
9 lorry." And that was the usual answer. Every wounded person was
10 instructed to say that.
11 Q. Let me just interrupt you for a moment. That priest, was that a
12 Catholic priest? Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct. He said I should be taken to the doctor's.
14 I was taken to the doctor's. He gave me some pills. I don't remember the
15 name of those pills, and he gave me an ointment because I was all black
16 and blue. After having taken those pills, after a massage, I was taken
17 together with the others to dig trenches. We went out for two or three
18 days, and then we were transferred to the Mahala camp.
19 There, I stayed with all the others, and we continued going out to
20 work. And then I was taken to a place called Gajovi to work, to unload a
21 tractor full of logs. The driver was afraid to drive through that area
22 because it was in the line of bullets from both sides. He was afraid. He
23 asked me to drive although I don't have a driving license, he told me:
24 "Don't you worry, just press your foot on the gas pedal and drive on."
25 And I indeed drove the tractor to the place where I was supposed to drive
1 it to. I got off the tractor, and he shot a bullet at me. And I was hit
2 by a fragmentation bullet, and I was wounded in my hip and in my finger.
3 I did not have any anything to dress the wound with. And two men told me:
4 "Come with us. Our house is very close and we will deal with that. We
5 will help you." We turned to the house, there was a girl there, and there
6 was another man there as well.
7 When he looked at my finger -- actually, there was no finger at
8 all. He told me: "Okay, let's deal with that as best as we could,"
9 although we did not have any anaesthetics. I lay down. One of the men
10 sat on my chest; the other one sat on my legs. And then they started
11 treating my finger. I almost died there with the suffering. It didn't
12 last long. I only heard the hissing of a spray. He sprayed the wound
13 with something. This was done by people who were not supposed to do
14 something like that.
15 Later on, a doctor came. I actually don't know whether he was a
16 doctor, but in any case, he told the two men that they would be held
17 responsible for what they had done to me. Then they took me back to the
18 camp without giving me any tablets or anything. I stayed in bed with my
19 hand in the air. That is the only position in which I felt comfortable.
20 And that lasted until the 14th of November. At 9.00 in the evening,
21 from -- the 11 of us from Bosanski Brod Municipality were loaded on to a
22 van and transported across the Sava River to Croatia. There, we were put
23 in the same camp at Bardak as before.
24 There, we found in one of the two rooms 11 of us were in one part
25 of the basement, and in the other part of the basement, there were 32
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 other people. The others would be taken out to do some work, such as
2 washing cars and other things, if things had to be transported or
3 something. They did not take me out of the cellar, as I was wounded. And
4 then we were taken to be exchanged on the day that I don't remember. We
5 were transported towards Draganic in Croatia near Zagreb. And then they
6 released only two women, and all the rest of us men were taken back at the
7 Bardak camp.
8 On the 19th of December, Tomo Aracija, my neighbour, came. And
9 when he saw me and when he saw the condition I was in - and he was the one
10 in charge of exchanges - he said he would leave his position and stop
11 doing his job if I wasn't exchanged. On the 21st of December, the -- a
12 policeman came, just one policeman came, looking for Zarko Garic. I said
13 I was Zarko Garic. And he said: "Come out and sit in the Land Rover." I
14 did that. He started the engine and drove off, and I don't know where we
15 were going. He asked me if I liked music, and I said yes. So he put the
16 radio on. I asked him: "Where are you taking me?" He said: "I'm taking
17 you to be Kobasij to be exchanged." And to my greatest fortune, the
18 exchange was successful.
19 I was taken to my native village. My house wasn't there any
20 longer. Everything had been burned down. And on the following day, I
21 transported to Serbia to a hospital there. And I was hospitalised for
22 five and a half months. And that would be all I have to say.
23 MR. LUKIC: [In English] We don't have any further questions, Your
24 Honour. So the Prosecution can proceed. Thanks.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Prosecution, please.
1 MR. KOUMJIAN: I have no questions, Your Honours. Thank you.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You told us your impressive story this morning.
4 Leaving, for a moment, aside all legal and formal perspectives, from your
5 own perspective, whom do you, yourself, hold responsible for that what
6 happened to you, on the lower level, on the middle level, and on the
7 highest level of the hierarchy, when looking back?
8 A. To me personally, and to other people in Sijekovac, the
9 responsible person is Nijaz Causevic, also known as Medo. He was the one
10 who committed the greatest crimes against us.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: What was his capacity in the municipality?
12 A. He was not in the municipality; he was in Sijekovac, in the
13 school. We grew up together. He was retired as a very unstable person,
14 and he rallied around himself all the people very similar to him. And
15 they called themselves the "intervention platoon." They were nothing but
16 thieves, thieves from Baghdad.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you have the impression that there was any
18 organisation behind, or was it more or less a crime committed by those
19 persons mentioned by you earlier in your statement?
20 A. I don't know.
21 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you ever testified in another case in this
23 A. Your Honour, this is the first time I have testified before any
24 court of law.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I, in addition, ask: Do you know anything
1 about a prosecution of those persons you mentioned today allegedly
2 responsible for the crimes committed not only against you, also against
3 others you mentioned? Was there any kind of prosecution on the territory
4 of Former Yugoslavia you would know about?
5 A. Nijaz Causevic has been convicted, and he had committed crimes
6 before the war. He killed his first-door neighbour, and he was never
7 taken to account for that.
8 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The international community is aware of the
9 flaws of prosecution of persons responsible for serious violations of
10 international and humanitarian law committed in the territory of Former
11 Yugoslavia since 1991. Therefore, this Tribunal is established. And it
12 may be necessary to make use of your testimony in another case against the
13 responsible persons. Do you agree that what was written down as your
14 testimony today will be used in other cases as well?
15 A. I agree.
16 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
17 Any additional questions? Judge Vassylenko. Judge Argibay.
18 Then I have to thank you not only for coming, but also for your
19 testimony. We all are aware how difficult it is to testify here. It
20 opens, once again, the wounds. But I think it will help, and it will
21 assist in bringing once again peace to your home country that people live
22 together peacefully. I thank you for your own contribution to this.
23 You're excused for today.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask the usher to escort the witness.
1 Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May I ask, Madam Registrar, the scheduling for
4 the next witness? When will he or she arrive?
5 THE REGISTRAR: I was just informed the witness was on his way.
6 Should be here in about 5 minutes.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's take the opportunity. And the trial stays
8 adjourned until 11.20.
9 --- Break taken at 10.50 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.21 a.m.
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated.
12 May I ask the usher to bring in Nikola Cikojevic.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Witness Cikojevic, can you hear me in a language
15 you understand?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we please hear your solemn declaration.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated.
21 Mr. Lukic, please.
22 WITNESS: NIKOLA CIKOJEVIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examined by Mr. Lukic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Cikojevic.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. Can you please state your full name for the record.
3 A. Nikola Cikojevic.
4 Q. When were you born?
5 A. 7 March, 1974.
6 Q. Where were you born?
7 A. In Slavonski Brod.
8 Q. Where do you live now?
9 A. I live in Srpska Brod, in a village called Gornji Mocila, in the
10 local commune called Sijekovac.
11 Q. Did you live there on the 3rd of March, 1992?
12 A. Yes, I lived in Sijekovac village, actually in Gornji Mocila
13 village, Sijekovac local commune.
14 Q. Can you tell us what you know about the 3rd of March, and how you
15 organised your life after that.
16 A. On the 3rd of March, the Croatian army of the Republic of Croatia
17 stormed in to Bosanski Brod municipality. The military government was set
18 up in Bosanski Brod after that. The civil authorities stopped working in
19 Bosanski Brod Municipality. And the Croat/Muslim government put up the
20 military police checkpoints. And there were checks, people were brought
21 in and ill treated.
22 I worked in the Bosanski Brod oil refinery. And my aunt who was
23 one of the foremen in the company asked me to come to Brod and to stay
24 with her in her house. And she also told me that the government ordered
25 everybody to go back to work. I managed to pass all the checkpoints. I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 arrived in Brod. I arrived at my aunt's house on the 18th of March. And
2 after that, I didn't dare show my face in the street or move around.
3 While I was staying there, on the 25th of March, I was sitting in
4 a room overlooking the street. It was around 1700 hours when I heard an
5 explosion. There was an explosion followed by noise and shouting. I saw
6 people running across the street. I could also hear shots. And after
7 that night, on the following morning, a neighbour of Serbian ethnicity
8 came knocking at our door, at the door of my aunt's house. My aunt opened
9 the door, and that lady, the neighbour, entered the house, and asked my
10 aunt: "Neighbour, what is going on?" And she also said: "Did you know
11 that Andrija Martic had been killed as well as his son, as well as their
12 neighbour Dujanic, who was staying in their house at the time."
13 Q. Can you please tell us, what was the ethnic background of these
15 A. They were Serbs. And Momir Martic's wife, Merima, who was a
16 Muslim, and the late Dujanic's brother were seriously injured, the two of
17 them. And that's how we spent that day up to the evening. We put the TV
18 on, and we watched the news. And on the news, I saw my village. And I
19 could see that my Serbian neighbours had been slain. The Zecevic family,
20 the Milosevic family, and the Radanovic family, and the Trifunovic family
21 as well.
22 And then they showed again footage of the 27th on Jutel. They
23 showed Biljana Plavsic, Fikret Abdic, and I think there was Boras on
24 behalf of the Croatian side. They showed Serb bodies, people who had been
25 killed on the 26th. I knew the deceased Luka Milosevic and his son,
1 Zeljo. Their bodies were lying in the garden. That was all in the period
2 preceding the 14th.
3 Q. Please allow me to just remind you, what happened on the 7th of
5 A. On the 7th of May, my mother remained in the village. In our
6 house, the house where we lived. She didn't manage to escape when those
7 people from Sijekovac withdrew to the Serbian village of Zboriste. She
8 had been wounded.
9 Q. And what happened on the 9th of May, 1992?
10 A. On the 9th of May, the family house was set on fire.
11 Q. Who was it that set your house ablaze?
12 A. Our neighbours did, because there was no one else around. Serbs
13 had been detained or they had escaped from the village.
14 Q. Your neighbours who set fire to your house, what was their ethnic
16 A. They were Croats. My village was a mixed one, Serbs and Croats
17 living there.
18 Q. What happened on the 14th of May, 1992?
19 A. On the 14th of May, after the JNA had withdrawn, that was on the
20 11th of May, and then on the 14th, my aunt's neighbour found out that I
21 was staying with my aunt.
22 Q. What was his ethnicity, the neighbour's ethnicity?
23 A. He was a Croat. Ferdo Kljajic. He told me to go and report to
24 the military authorities in Bosanski Brod.
25 Q. Did you report on that day?
1 A. Yes, I did, the same day. My aunt, her daughter, and myself. As
2 I was the only male, I had just turned 18, but they wouldn't let me go
3 alone because they were afraid to let me go on my own.
4 Q. So when exactly did you report?
5 A. We reported to the Unipromet company building. Pero Lepan was
6 there. He was in charge. He was the head of that particular work unit.
7 Q. What tasks were you assigned as part of your work in that work
8 unit, and where did you spend your nights?
9 A. We would stay in the work unit between 7.00 in the morning and
10 8.00 in the evening. We had to bring our own food from where we stayed,
11 from our homes, because they didn't give us any food there. And in the
12 town, there is this new district, Brodsko Polje. We replaced the tiles
13 and the construction materials from the roofs of houses there.
14 Q. Did you replace those or remove them?
15 A. We removed the tiles from Serb houses, the windows, too. And
16 since this was a new district, we removed construction materials from the
17 building plots, and then we would take these construction materials to the
18 central warehouse set up by Croatian military authorities in the town.
19 While I was in the work unit, they sent me to the graveyard to dig graves
20 for three or four days. That's where I buried the first bodies from --
21 the bodies of the first victims from the village Poloje, the village of
22 Poloje. After the JNA had withdrawn, these people were killed, and they
23 were Serbs, elderly Serbs, men and women.
24 Q. Can you remember any of their names?
25 A. Petrovic, I believe, Jelka Petrovic. I don't know about the man.
1 Petrovic. And there was someone named Kalabic.
2 Q. How did they treat you in your work unit?
3 A. They did maltreatment us occasionally. Sometimes they would swear
4 at us and beat us. Also in May, they took us to the stadium, the town
5 stadium to repair the roof. There was a camp there, a camp for Serbs.
6 There were some military police garrisoned there, the Brod Brigade. And
7 as we were waiting there to go and repair the roof, the inmates were
9 And on one occasion, one of the inmates was clearing some shards
10 of glass. A shell had fallen there and shattered the glass. From the
11 back, he was approached by Jasenka Bilic and Manda Djakovic. They started
12 cursing his Serb mother. "Are you stupid or what? Can't you do it a bit
13 faster?" He said he couldn't work any faster. At that point, Tadija
14 Lepan walked up to him and started beating him. He threw him from the
15 floor down in front of the building. Three people came down, and Drago
16 Lepan was with them, too. And another blond rather short and plumpy
17 military policeman. I can't remember his name. They continued to beat
18 him. We climbed up to the roof at that point, and I don't know what
19 happened to him later.
20 Q. When exactly were you taken and detained in the Tulek camp?
21 A. On the 24th of June, in the morning, when I came to the Unipromet
22 headquarters, the military police came to get me and Predrag Vrac. They
23 took us to the Tulek camp.
24 Q. Did they seize anything from you?
25 A. Yes, they seized my watch, my gold necklace, and my personal
2 Q. What sort of treatment were you given in that camp?
3 A. When Vrac and I arrived there, there were between 15 and 20 Serbs
4 there who had already been detained. There was a woman there in that
5 group. We were given assignments there to work with cement. They were
6 building a prison; a prison was to be built. We spent two or three days
7 working there. And then they started to take us elsewhere to dig
8 trenches. Tadija Lepan was the person in charge of singling out prisoners
9 to take them away to dig trenches and his uncle, Drago Lepan, and a number
10 of other persons, but I don't know their names.
11 Q. In early July, did they bring any other people to the Tulek camp?
12 A. Early July, they brought people from Derventa, about 140 -- 130 of
13 them, men and two women. One of them was a doctor.
14 Q. After a number of days, were people from Odzak brought over, too?
15 A. Yes, in deed. After Odzak had fallen, they brought in people from
16 Odzaci, both women and children. While they were there in the camp, the
17 Tulek camp, every day, Croat and Muslim forces, military policemen, would
18 come to beat people, and members of the army, too, would beat people.
19 In early July, a Muslim woman was brought there. She was from
20 Kozarac, near Prijedor originally. During that period, Zdravko Marinic
21 and Zoran Cavraja were the persons in charge. They were playing cards.
22 They were on duty. And they were placing bets that whoever lost the game
23 would go there and rape this particular Muslim woman. In that part of the
24 barn, we heard a conversation they were having. They were making a lot of
25 noise apparently quarrelling. At one point they came up to me and they
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 told me: "Look, now you'll go there and abuse that Muslim woman sexually.
2 All right"? I told them I couldn't. "Kill me if you want to, but I'm
3 not going to do that." They gave up on me, and they made Slobodan Jandric
4 from Sipovo, who had been brought to the camp from the Republic of
5 Croatia, the Tulek camp, with three other Serbs who worked in Rijeka.
6 While we were in the Tulek camp, Drago and Tadija Lepan used to
7 come quite frequently. They forced the people from Derventa and Odzaci to
8 sing the "Jure I Boban" Ustasha anthem. In early July, Tadija Lepan's
9 father was killed. Drago Lepan came to the Tulek camp. His mother and
10 children. Drago knocked down the gate, the door to the room where the
11 prisoners from Derventa were kept and he, his mother, and the children
12 started beating people in there. Then he came to our barn where people
13 from Brod were being kept. He started beating everyone. He beat me, too.
14 Q. Were two Croat men together with you detained in the camp?
15 A. Yes, indeed. Boro Jankovic and his father. I can't remember the
16 father's name now. Boro's mother was a Serb. She had fled with the
17 younger son who was not yet a military-aged man. They had run with the
18 Serbs, but the two of them stayed in their house. And when Serbs were
19 being picked up across Brusnica, which is again a mixed village, Croats
20 and Muslims, then the two of them were picked up. They maltreated them
21 more than us Serbs actually.
22 Q. What happened on the 9th of July, 1992?
23 A. The 9th of July?
24 Q. Was that the day the International Red Cross arrived?
25 A. Yes. That's when I was first recorded by the International Red
1 Cross, registered. They stormed into the camp, and they saw people
2 inside, and they requested to enter so that they could see who was being
3 kept in there. And that's when the International Red Cross took our names
4 and registered us.
5 Q. I would like now to ask you to tell me about late July 1992. Were
6 you transferred to a different place?
7 A. In late July -- in late July, Serbs from Derventa and Odzaci were
8 transferred to the Gik warehouse. It was a construction material
9 warehouse used by the Gik, G-i-k, company.
10 Q. How long did you stay in the Tulek camp?
11 A. We stayed until the 17th [as interpreted] of August.
12 Q. Can you please repeat the date again.
13 A. The 18th of August, 1992. We were transferred to a school,
14 because the International Red Cross had announced that they would come, so
15 they picked up the few of us who were able-bodied men from Odzak, Brod,
16 and Derventa, took us to the school gym, which was in a school. The
17 elderly, sick, wounded, women, and children were being hidden, concealed,
18 and moved. And they also moved the people from the stadium to the kayak
19 club. They hid them. They concealed them from view because the
20 International Red Cross had not registered these people the first time
21 they came. We stayed there for four days. And during those four days,
22 one person was killed.
23 During the visit of the International Red Cross, an inmate from
24 Derventa wrote down a message on the slip of paper and handed the slip to
25 a lady from the International Red Cross. He asked her not to give him
1 away. He wrote down where the wounded and sick and women and children
2 were being kept, concealed from view. This lady went to see the camp
3 commander. He was a military policeman by the name of Golubovic. She
4 asked him where the socks factory was. And he replied: "What?" And then
5 she said that she had obtained information that they were keeping Serbs
7 After the International Red Cross people left the camp,
8 Zdravko Ostojic came. He singled out four persons from Derventa for
9 questioning. He wanted to find out who had provided the information on
10 the Serbs who had been hidden from view. They sent back three of these
11 persons, and Mirko Pajic was held back. Zdravko Ostojic came up to us and
12 said: "He wasn't clever enough to save his own life. He must write up a
13 report regarding his actions." After two hours, Anto Golubovic and his
14 deputy took Mirko Pajic, his deputy's name was Tolic, their arms around
15 each other's shoulders, and in the gym they said: "No one here is allowed
16 to touch you. You're a very good friend of ours." And then they walked
17 away from him and started to beat people in front of all of us there in
18 the hall.
19 And then they asked him: "Will you now admit whether you were the
20 one who gave away the location of those who had been hidden to the
21 International Red Cross?" He couldn't answer because he had already
22 fallen unconscious. He was taken out again. And then after an hour, they
23 were back to get me and another man. We were supposed to carry his body
24 back into the building. They ordered the doctor from Derventa, the lady
25 doctor, to go there and have a look. They told her that apparently he had
1 come down with the flu and maybe he had a slight fever. I was standing
2 just there, and the doctor said: "This man can't be helped. He's
3 finished." And after about one hour, the man died.
4 A van came to take the body away. Myself and three other people
5 took the body to the graveyard. Two days later, we buried him.
6 Q. How long did you stay in that secondary school?
7 A. Four days.
8 Q. Where were you then transferred to?
9 A. We were sent back to the Tulek camp.
10 Q. What did you do there upon your return?
11 A. Eight of us were assigned to dig graves at the town cemetery, to
12 bury Serbs who had been killed. Those men had been digging trenches and
13 getting killed because they were in the line of fire, also Croats and
14 Muslims. We buried all the bodies that were brought to the graveyard.
15 Q. Were you then also maltreated and beaten?
16 A. Yes, two or three times. At the Muslim cemetery, all eight of us
17 were beaten.
18 Q. How long were you detained in the Tulek camp?
19 A. While we were there, or working at the town cemetery, let me just
20 add this: The Bardak family was brought there. A man, his wife, and his
21 mother-in-law. His name was Branko, and I don't know the women's names.
22 He was a man -- he was a working man. He had his own company. They came
23 to their house. They tied their hands, gagged them, and slit their
24 throats. When they were brought to the cemetery, I saw it with my own
25 eyes the way their hands had been tied, the way they had been gagged, and
1 their throats slit. I buried them with my own hands.
2 Also, a soldier from the stadium was captured, Jovo Dujic. He was
3 also brought to the cemetery. I saw with my own eyes that his nose and
4 ear had been cut off. I buried him, too. And I also buried Djordjo
5 Stojakovic. A man called Jeremas [phoen], who was a director in a company
6 in Brod, he was also killed. He was a prominent figure in Brod. And I
7 really can't remember the names of all those whom I buried. It has been a
8 long time since then.
9 Q. How long did you stay at the Tulek, and where were you transferred
10 from there?
11 A. I stayed at the Tulek camp until the 6th of October, until the
12 fall of Brod. And then around 2.00 in the afternoon, they took us to the
13 bridge. There we waited for the group of those who had stayed behind in
14 the centre and at the stadium. And while we were crossing the bridge,
15 they also ill treated us, they also beat us.
16 Once we crossed the bridge, in the column in front of me, people
17 were killed. And I came across the dead body of a female detainee from
18 the stadium. I believe that her name was Desanka. She was a Serb from
19 Teslic. I saw with my own two eyes Kadija Nibic killing her with a
20 pistol. There was another man who shot at her, but I don't know his
21 name. It all happened on the bank of the River Sava in the Republic of
22 Croatia. And then we arrived at a Serb house, Bardak, also known as the
23 bowling alley, in Slavonski Brod in the Republic of Croatia. There we
24 stayed until 11.00 in the evening. All throughout that time, they beat
25 us, they cursed us, and they maltreated us.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 At 11.00, two buses came. 240 of us were loaded on to those
2 buses, and they drove us to Zupljana in the Republic of Croatia. They
3 brought us to the bank of the Sava River. The door of the bus opened, and
4 Zarko Garic was taken off the bus. He was beaten there. Later on, they
5 took the rest of us off --
6 Q. Can you please tell us what happened there.
7 A. They -- they took us, actually forced us, to go to the ferry that
8 served to transport people and livestock across the river. And while we
9 were being transported, they beat us. It was the military police and the
10 army of the Republic of Croatia and the Croat Defence Council members who
11 beat us.
12 Q. And how long did you stay there and where were you transferred
14 A. We were brought to Mahala village in Orasje municipality.
15 Q. I apologise. What did you do in Orasje?
16 A. In Orasje, we arrived on the 7th, around 4.00 in the morning, and
17 they placed us in a big hall. They ill treated us. They beat all of us
18 up. And in the morning, they took us out to the schoolyard in Mahala.
19 Again, they beat us there and asked if there was anyone sick in the
20 group. And if there was, that that person should step out from the line.
21 Those who were sick and wounded stepped out of the line, and then
22 the commander of the Orasje camp started interrogating us. His name was
23 Pera Vincetic, and he was also known as Konj. And that's what we heard.
24 That's what we heard his nickname was, Konj, or horse. And they beat us
25 there. The villagers came, threw things at us, cursed our Serb mothers.
1 A soldier asked Pera: "Will you sell me 30 of the inmates?" And Pera
2 said: "No, they are my slaves."
3 They split us into groups, and they kept only 60 of us who were
4 fit to work. And the rest of the group was taken to Orasje. Four women
5 who were brought together with us from Brod also remained with our group.
6 We were sent to dig trenches. And when we returned to the camp compound,
7 they would beat us day in, day out. And during the night hours, they
8 would come to fetch the women, and they would take them out to be raped
9 one at a time. I'm not going to mention any of their names.
10 Q. Can you please tell us, when were you transferred to Slavonski
11 Brod from Orasje?
12 A. We were transferred from Orasje to Slavonski Brod on the 16th of
14 Q. Were you beaten there?
15 A. When we arrived in Slavonski Brod, we were not beaten, but the
16 conditions were very bad. We were placed in a cellar with sewage pipes
17 going through that cellar.
18 Q. When was the first attempt of your exchange?
19 A. It was on the 24th of November, 1992.
20 Q. Did the exchange -- was the exchange successful?
21 A. No, it wasn't. They took us back to Slavonski Brod. This is
22 where we stayed throughout that winter. We didn't have any warm clothes,
23 and the winter was very severe with temperatures down to minus 23. We had
24 to do very difficult physical work. And once a day, they would give us a
25 meager ration of food until March 1992 [as interpreted] --
1 Q. Was that in 1992 or 1993?
2 A. It was in March 1993. And then we started working for the
3 commander of the military police, Anto Suger. We worked on his private
4 property until 26th of June, 1993.
5 Q. Where were you transferred on the 26th of June, 1993?
6 A. We were transferred to Ljubuski in Herzegovina, that is Bosnia and
8 Q. What did you do there?
9 A. We were assigned to dig trenches on the Nevesinje front line, and
10 they were taken there by the military police of the HVO.
11 Q. Do you know the distance between Ljubuski and Bosanski Brod?
12 A. No, I don't.
13 Q. How long did it take you to get there? Do you remember?
14 A. We travelled via Slavonska Pozega, Zagreb, Karlovac, down to
15 Split. We were in the Lora harbour. That's where we had lunch, and then
16 we continued on our journey, and we arrived around 7.00 or 8.00 in the
17 evening. And we started the journey around 5.00 in the morning.
18 Q. When was the second attempt of your exchange?
19 A. It was on the 4th of July, 1993. We were transported to Livno.
20 There, we waited for some three hours, and then they took us back to
22 Q. Did they beat you in Ljubuski?
23 A. No. They didn't beat us in Ljubuski. We were assigned to dig
24 trenches on the Nevesinje and Trebinje front lines for three or four
25 days. And the rest of the time, we worked in the transit warehouse. But
1 the Muslims who were there were maltreated because the conflict between
2 the Muslims and the Croats had started. They didn't touch us, but they
3 did ill treat the detained Muslims.
4 Q. When was the third attempt of your exchange?
5 A. It was on the 16th of July, 1993. We were taken to a place called
6 Celebici, and that is when I was exchanged.
7 Q. What was the total duration of your imprisonment?
8 A. Over a year. A year and a few more days. I don't know exactly
9 how many more days.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cikojevic. I have no further questions, but maybe
11 my learned friend from the Prosecution and the Honourable Judges will have
12 some questions for you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Prosecution, please.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Koumjian:
16 Q. Mr. Cikojevic, thank you for coming and telling us about your
17 experiences. One of the experiences you told us about was when you were
18 asked, in fact, you were threatened -- someone tried to get you to commit
19 a crime, to rape this woman, Muslim woman, from Kozarac. And you refused
20 to do that. Is that correct?
21 A. I refused. I couldn't do it.
22 Q. Even though you were 18 years old and in prison, you refused when
23 someone tried to get you to commit a crime because it was wrong and it was
24 against your conscience. Correct?
25 A. Yes. I couldn't do it. It was against my conscience.
1 Q. Do you think if more people in Bosnia had stood up against those
2 who tried to encourage them to commit crimes against other ethnicities and
3 had said no, that a lot of what happened in that war would not have
5 A. I'm afraid I didn't fully understand your question, sir.
6 Q. Mr. Cikojevic, if more people had done what you did and refused to
7 commit crimes against innocents just because they were of another
8 ethnicity, do you think that the war in Bosnia would have been very
9 different, or Bosnia would be very different then and today?
10 A. Yes, I believe that it would be different.
11 Q. One of the things you talked about was efforts by people running
12 the camps to keep the International Red Cross from visiting and from
13 learning particularly about the presence of women in those camps.
14 A. Yes, that is exactly what was done. They tried to prevent them
15 from coming. And when I was registered for the time, it was a surprise
16 visit to the Tulek camp. And then the person who was our guard, the
17 military policeman, opened the door, he saw people inside moving around.
18 And he said: What is that?" So when he saw them, he just disappeared,
19 and then they approached us. They came up to us and asked us what was
20 going on. We told them that we were just detained there, that
21 everything -- all of our possessions had been taken away and that we were
22 just sitting there. Nobody -- when we first came, nobody ever told us
23 anything. They just collected our identification documents, and they just
24 held us there and we didn't know what we were doing there.
25 Q. Mr. Cikojevic, can you tell us, why would authorities, political
1 leaders who had set up camps, want to keep the International Red Cross and
2 international community from visiting those camps?
3 A. It was not the political authorities but the military authorities
4 in Bosanski Brod. From 3rd of March 1992 onwards, so it was the military
5 component that took over. It was the 108th Slavonia Brigade, and the
6 commander of that brigade would visit us in the camp. He came two or
7 three times to the camp. So it was not the civilian authorities, but the
8 military authorities. And that was from the 3rd of March, 1992, onwards.
9 So the civilian authorities stopped existing on the 3rd of March in Brod.
10 Q. So in Brod, the people with authority over the camps in Brod at
11 that time was this military authority from the HVO. Why would they want
12 to keep the International Red Cross and the international community from
13 visiting camps and registering the inmates? Explain it to the Judges.
14 A. I don't know. You should ask them. Why did they do that?
15 Probably they were afraid of the truth. They were afraid of what was
16 going on and the truth to be known.
17 Q. When prisoners were registered, did you feel some sense of
18 security that at least your name was on record and that you would not
19 simply disappear with no record of your name ever having existed in that
21 A. I did feel a bit safer, but when the International Red Cross
22 representatives left, nothing changed. The same ill treatment continued.
23 People were still being taken to dig trenches despite the fact that the
24 International Red Cross insisted with the military authorities that they
25 shouldn't take us to dig trenches on the front line where people were
1 being killed every day. Still, Mirko Pajic, he was registered with the
2 International Red Cross, but he was still killed. And this happened after
3 their visit, so this feeling of security was false. We couldn't really be
4 safe. Our life was on the line day in, day out.
5 Q. You talked -- I just want to go back for a moment. This woman,
6 the Muslim woman that they asked you to rape. You said she was from
7 Kozarac. Do you know how she ended up -- I believe -- was that in
8 Slavonski Brod at that time?
9 A. No, it was in Tulek, in Bosanski Brod, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 I don't know how she happened to find herself in the camp. But I know
11 that she was detained together with another woman from Brod, and there
12 were other women and men who were brought in. But they were exchanged
13 from time to time. But these two ladies stayed with us for a longer
14 time. One of them was over 60, and the Muslim woman who was around 30 at
15 the time. She was a bit -- she was simple. She was a bit retarded, if
16 you know what I mean. She was not a full dozen. And they would rape on a
17 regular basis. It was the army troops who did that and the military
18 police who did that.
19 Q. I also want to go back to what you saw on television from Jutel of
20 the visit of the presidency of Bosnia to the massacre site, the village in
21 Sijekovac. Forgive me if I --
22 A. Sijekovac, yes, that's the name.
23 Q. At that time, the people that visited were members of the
24 presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That was Mrs. Plavsic from the SDS;
25 Mr. Abdic at that time, from the SDA; and you said also a Croat was
1 present. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes, I believe his name was Boras, but I can't remember his first
3 name. And they were three representatives of the three different peoples,
4 and it was an attempt to reconciliate these people at that time, at the
6 Q. So at that time, it was an attempt to say that the people of
7 Bosnia don't want to see this kind of events, massacres of innocent
8 civilians, occur again?
9 A. It was a meeting arranged to take place in Brod. I think it was
10 on the 9th of March, 1992. This is what was arranged in the presidency.
11 In Brod, they didn't actually -- they were not aware of the massacre in
12 Sijekovac. They just came by it because the bodies had not been taken
13 away. They just came. They saw it. And there is a footage of that. A
14 month and a half ago, I saw the footage again. The footage was made by a
15 Croat whose daughter was employed by the television in Brod. He edited
16 that for himself. I saw the footage, but it is not the same footage that
17 was shown on Jutel. Some things were redacted, taken out from that
18 footage. It's a different footage that I saw this time. So the footage
19 was not the complete footage that aired on the 27th of March, 1992.
20 Q. You said that what you saw at that time was from Jutel. That was
21 a television station broadcasting from Sarajevo. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's right, from Sarajevo.
23 Q. And in that broadcast, it showed the images of the victims of the
25 A. Yes, that's correct. Houses burned and bodies of people who had
1 been killed.
2 Q. At that time in Brod, could you also receive television from Banja
3 Luka? I don't believe there's television in Prijedor, but from Banja Luka
4 or from Belgrade?
5 A. The signal was very feeble, so you couldn't see actually TV Banja
6 Luka. At least where I was spending my days, I couldn't see TV Banja
8 Q. How about the television from Belgrade? Were you able to see
10 A. Yes, we could see TV Belgrade, but not where I was. We could only
11 watch TV Sarajevo and TV Zagreb. In Bosanski Brod, you had TV Belgrade,
12 too, but personally I was not able to locate the right frequency on my own
13 TV set.
14 Q. Had you seen on any of these television programmes images about
15 what occurred after the fall of Vukovar in Croatia and what happened at
16 the hospital there?
17 A. Well, not really. I didn't really follow that much when there was
18 the war in Croatia. So I can't really say.
19 Q. Did you see any television -- you mentioned Mrs. Plavsic. Did you
20 see any television reports of her in I believe it was Bjeljina where she
21 kissed Arkan?
22 A. No. I know nothing of that.
23 MR. KOUMJIAN: Thank you, Mr. Cikojevic. No further questions.
24 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: You mentioned during your testimony that your
2 camp where you were detained was visited two or three times by the
3 commander of the 108th Slavonia Brigade. And can you tell us when this
4 was and can you give us the name of this commander?
5 A. I only know that he had the rank of colonel, but I don't know his
6 name. This was approximately in late June or early July.
7 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: 1992?
8 A. That's correct, yes, 1992. And there were regular military
9 forces, too, while we were doing digging in Brod. I forgot to mention
10 that. There was the Rijeka Brigade, the Bjelovar Brigade, the Osijek
11 Brigade, the Karlovac Brigade, and another of the engineering brigades.
12 They monitored us as we were digging the trenches. They came midway
13 through July 1992 and stayed until the fall of Brod.
14 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Totally different question: Did you ever see
15 columns of fugitives coming from the war in Croatia in your hometown?
16 A. No. I did see the Serbs fleeing Slavonski Brod, fleeing the
17 Republic of Croatia back in 1991.
18 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In which direction did they flee?
19 A. From Croatia into Bosnia, because that's the lie of the land.
20 When we had Yugoslavia, still the Former Yugoslavia, many Serbs had moved
21 out of the village of Poloje. There were over 500 houses in that village,
22 and those Serbs moved to Bosanski Brod because that was just next to the
23 River Sava. In Slavonski Brod, in the Republic of the Croatia, they built
24 a town district, a settlement, call Bijelis. But they lived all over
25 Slavonski Brod municipality, the Serbs, I mean. Many people, 70 per cent
1 of Bosnians, worked in Croatia, in Slavonski Brod.
2 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Have you personally ever been in Prijedor?
3 A. No -- well, I did pass through once when I was taken to be
4 exchanged in 1993. The route we took was Grahovo, Drvar, Petrovac,
5 Prijedor, Sanski Most, Banja Luka, and then via Derventa on to Brod.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: In passing Prijedor, did you see something
7 special, to the best of your recollection, you regard as worth mentioning
9 A. Well, I'm not sure what to mention. I've nothing particular to
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was the town of Prijedor, in whole or in part,
12 destroyed at that time, or other towns you passed?
13 A. I can't remember. It has been a long time really. I can't
14 remember after everything that I have been through.
15 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Was there anything different when you compare or
16 compared at that time the cities and the municipalities you passed
18 A. I don't know because we travelled at night. We set out from
19 Grahovo in the evening, so it was dark. And we reached Banja Luka -- I'm
20 not sure what the time was. But we had probably travelled for about three
21 and a half hours. So I really paid no attention. I was just too tired to
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Did you ever meet Dr. Stakic?
24 A. No, never.
25 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Mr. Cikojevic, you told us your own story in a
1 very impressive and exhaustive way. Did you ever hear that the crimes
2 committed against you and others were prosecuted in your hometown or be it
3 in Croatia?
4 A. No. I never heard anything about that. There were those who beat
5 and maltreated, and they are still free, at large, moving about Brod and
6 coming to Brod. And our authorities -- well, you know, some of us filed
7 complaints with the local police, but we were told that there was nothing
8 they could do. Probably the courts aren't functioning properly. I don't
9 know what the provisions are. But I know that they still keep coming to
11 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's the fundamental reason why the
12 international community decided to set up this Tribunal, especially to
13 avoid impugnity, impugnity of peoples of whatsoever ethnicity or religion
14 or from whatever military group. And in order to avoid impunity, it's
15 necessary to have witnesses, and therefore we are extremely grateful for
16 your testimony.
17 My question is: Do you agree that in case this Tribunal needs
18 your testimony in another case against another person, do you agree that
19 your testimony - we have it in writing before us - that it is used also in
20 other cases?
21 A. Yes, I agree.
22 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you.
23 Any additional questions? Judge Vassylenko. Judge Argibay.
24 Then I have to thank you for coming, for giving testimony, and
25 hopefully by doing so, participating in the building up of a better future
1 in your home country. Thank you. Have a safe trip home. And may I ask
2 the usher to escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As already mentioned before, tomorrow, Friday,
6 and maybe if necessary also Monday next week, we have to discuss the final
7 list of witnesses and whether or not to admit the evidence provided by
8 them. We have no time left. We have to come to a conclusion. And
9 therefore, the agenda for tomorrow will be as follows: We will start to
10 discuss the adequate reaction on the undoubtedly late disclosure of the
11 statements of six witnesses we received yesterday.
12 We would like to have a clear and final decision by the Defence
13 whether or not they want to hear these six persons as Defence witnesses
14 and whether or not there are any obstacles to hear them, not today,
15 tomorrow, Mr. Lukic. Only the agenda for tomorrow.
16 Then having heard the Prosecution, we would immediately decide,
17 and in case they will not serve as Defence witnesses, they will in all
18 likelihood, we have to decide on this beforehand, appear as witnesses of
19 the Court under Rule 85(v).
20 Second point on the agenda will be the witness, one or two
21 witnesses, for the three days foreseen in December. In case the Defence
22 is not ready and prepared for what reasons soever to provide own
23 witnesses, then it will be for the Tribunal to decide on the order of
24 witnesses appearing as discussed already in the 65 ter (i) conference.
25 Then we have to go through the 101 names or experts listed in the
1 so-called final witness list name by name, expert by expert. And we ask
2 the Defence to give or to demonstrate the relevance of their testimony.
3 We would ask the Prosecution to respond immediately to enable us to decide
4 immediately that finally at the end of this entire exercise, we have in
5 fact a final list of witnesses to be -- and experts, to be heard until the
6 21st of March.
7 Then we have to discuss the lists of exhibits and the disclosure
8 of exhibits. And as a final point of the agenda, no doubt, there is a
9 possibility also for other issues to be discussed on the initiative of the
10 parties, the witnesses to be called for the first eight days in January.
11 Are there any other additional questions from the parties in the
13 MR. KOUMJIAN: My only question was I understood that the Court
14 was going to ask or the Defence was going to provide by the end of today,
15 an answer if they knew it at least, of the witnesses for December. I
16 wonder if that's already available.
17 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: I think we decided by the end of today. And you
18 have it already?
19 MR. LUKIC: Actually, Your Honour. I have a list of six
20 witnesses. I don't think we are going to bring all of them, but we will
21 prepare all proffers for these witnesses. Probably we will bring three or
22 four, but out of this six.
23 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then please let's do it this way: That we hear
24 tomorrow orally, if you can't provide it in writing until tomorrow, 9.00,
25 that we can decide on the relevance of these witnesses because you will
1 understand that we can't continue this way, hearing witnesses in judicial
2 terms for the purposes of this case are not relevant.
3 MR. LUKIC: All our witnesses, except these six witnesses, are
4 from Prijedor area. So we think that it wouldn't be hard for us to show
5 the relevance for the case.
6 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's discuss this tomorrow. Anything else?
7 MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, but we could discuss it ourselves more
8 intelligently if counsel after Court gives me the names of the six so we
9 at least know who we are talking about.
10 JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. And no doubt, the Judges would appreciate
11 as well, if we could get copies and the issues these witnesses would
13 This concludes today's hearing. The trial stays adjourned until
14 tomorrow, 9.00.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
16 at 12.48 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
17 the 20th day of November, 2002,
18 at 9.00 a.m.