Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 638



3 Tuesday, 14 May 1996

4 (2.30 p.m.)

5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, you were questioning Mr. Lukac?


7 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour. Your Honour, before the witness returns

8 to the witness box, I just wanted to touch on

9 something we raised yesterday when your Honour was asking me about

10 the length of the trial. I do not think I really probably explained

11 the basis of our calculation. We have calculated two witnesses per

12 day on a five day week when we did the calculation. That was 40 per

13 month and then in eight weeks we would cover 80 witnesses.

14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Wait now, tell me again, two what?

15 MR. NIEMANN: Two witnesses per day on a five-day week which is 10

16 witnesses a week.

17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: On your list sometimes you have a witness for a day;

18 with Dr. Gow, you had one to two days.

19 MR. NIEMANN: We do expect, your Honour, some days to have three

20 witnesses.

21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK, you go ahead. Tell me how you calculated it.

22 MR. NIEMANN: So our calculation was basically two witnesses a day, five

23 days a week, which is 40 witnesses a month, and over an eight week

24 period is 80 witnesses, and we said six to nine weeks. If you add an

25 extra week, that allows for 90 witnesses. We just cannot be sure that

Page 639

1 all witnesses that we have put in our list will give evidence at this

2 stage. This is our best estimate. So our calculation initially of

3 six to nine weeks is still, on that basis of calculation, accurate.

4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Six to nine witnesses -- I am slow, I am sorry.

5 MR. NIEMANN: Six to nine weeks. Our calculation of six to nine weeks

6 when you calculate it that way is still accurate, your Honour.

7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That would be how many witnesses per week?

8 MR. NIEMANN: 10 witnesses a week. That is the average.

9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am sorry, 10 witnesses?

10 MR. NIEMANN: Per week.

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have 88 witnesses, for sure, that you will call.

12 If you have 10 witnesses a week, with 88, you would have eight, nine

13 weeks, I guess; is that right?

14 MR. NIEMANN: That is right, yes.

15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is "will call", but then you have also 46 "may

16 call" so that would be another four or four and a half weeks.

17 MR. NIEMANN: If that happens, but it is very unlikely that we will call

18 them.

19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Except that once again -- maybe we added the time

20 wrong; you help me -- on the 88 witnesses, you did not have

21 necessarily two per day, did you?

22 MR. NIEMANN: Some of the witnesses in the early stages we have said may

23 take a whole day, and we will put that in, but we are averaging it

24 out; on some days we anticipate to have three. If we have three

25 witnesses, that will catch up and balance it out.

Page 640

1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I do not have the time with me, it is not really

2 important and it really was not my concern that you had told the

3 Trial Chamber six to nine weeks and now you were taking additional

4 time. That is not the concern. It was just the math of just adding

5 up the hours and adding up the hours of the "will call". I must

6 admit I left that. Regardless of how much time you told us you were

7 going to use, regardless whether if you add up the 88 witnesses and

8 the number of hours that you have listed, whether that comes to six

9 months or four months, the question is what can we do, if anything,

10 to make sure that we are using our time efficiently?

11 Since we are talking about it, maybe I can explore it a

12 little bit more with you. I had suggested, we had suggested, that

13 perhaps you meet with Defence in an effort to see what could be done

14 to organise the case more tightly. You had indicated that there had

15 been at least some discussions about perhaps entering into

16 stipulations.

17 What the Chamber would like to suggest very strongly is

18 that you meet with Defence, that the Defence meet with the

19 Prosecution on this Friday, or at least at some point before Monday

20 of next week, in an effort to attempting to shorten the trial, not to

21 cut it off, but to make it as efficient as possible.

22 You have listed 14 policy witnesses after Mr. Lukac --

23 this is my math -- and those 14 policy witnesses, a maximum would

24 require 65 hours. We work about five hours a day, it is about five

25 and a half, but sometimes we are late getting started, so that would

Page 641

1 be 13 days maximum that you would use for those 14 policy witnesses.

2 I understand what you just told me that you were assuming

3 two witnesses a day. I am telling you what the math shows; at least

4 for 14 policy witnesses is a maximum 65 hours, 13 days. That would

5 not be two witnesses a day obviously. Minimum would be 8.8 days and

6 that is not two witnesses a day.

7 So what we are suggesting is that perhaps with those

8 witnesses, particularly, you consider offering their statements only

9 and then presenting them for cross-examination, the statements would

10 be received into evidence -- I have not seen the statements, I do not

11 know how full they are -- then you, of course, would have the

12 opportunity for redirect for whatever reasons you may consider

13 appropriate.

14 Again we do not know what it is that you intend to offer

15 by way of the policy witnesses, we have just heard from one, we have

16 not finished hearing from Mr. Lukac, but that is a possibility.

17 Again are not directing you, we are just focusing in and without

18 knowing your case.

19 MR. NIEMANN: That is very difficult for us to do it that way. I mean,

20 there are a number of problems with this. Firstly, we are most

21 loathe to approach the Defence and ask them whether or not they wish

22 to make any admissions. We are loathe to do that because we consider

23 that as putting pressure on the Defence, and their counsel may now

24 agree with it, but if there is a change of counsel, there is an

25 appeal, unless the accused is very sure of this, this is something

Page 642

1 which we, the Prosecution, are most reluctant to do, put pressure on.

2 If the Defence approach us, as I have said, the door is

3 open and we are happy. So, if the Defence come to us, that is fine,

4 we are very happy to speak to them, but we are must reluctant to

5 approach them.

6 The second thing, your Honours, is that if a matter is in

7 dispute and it is clearly in dispute, this is the first time that one

8 of these cases has been prosecuted; we just do not know the

9 parameters of what is required in terms of proof. So to proceed in a

10 way that is suggested by your Honour may well fall short of what is

11 required; it may not, it may be sufficient but we just do not know.

12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am not asking you not to put on evidence. I am

13 suggesting that there is a possible alternative to putting on 14

14 policy witnesses. I am not in any way suggesting that you do not

15 need to; I am just throwing this out as a suggestion. You can look

16 at the policy witnesses, see whether you have to actually call them

17 all for direct testimony or whether, perhaps, instead you could offer

18 the statements. The Defence could then cross-examine and you would

19 have an opportunity on redirect.

20 Then you have 39, I think, witnesses for count 1 with a

21 maximum of 146 hours, that is 29.2 days. We are getting closer now

22 to two witnesses, I guess -- no, we are not still, but in any case,

23 let me suggest that you meet. Are you saying that you do not even

24 want to meet with Defence counsel?

25 MR. NIEMANN: Not at all. I am saying we are must reluctant to approach

Page 643

1 the Defence.

2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. I am approaching the Defence and asking the

3 Defence to meet with the Prosecutor at some point between now and

4 Monday morning. We will not be meeting on this case on Friday. I

5 would suggest that is a good day. I do not know what your

6 availability is on Friday, but at least sit down and see whether this

7 is a possibility. Before you tell me no absolutely, at least think

8 about it. This is the first that you have heard about the suggestion

9 that, perhaps, you offer statements from some of the policy witnesses

10 even. So, I would encourage you not to just absolutely foreclose as

11 soon as you hear it.

12 MR. NIEMANN: I would never do that, your Honour.

13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Let it sink in a little bit and kind of let it roll

14 around for a while before you say no absolutely.

15 MR. NIEMANN: Certainly, your Honour. We will certainly take that and

16 give it very, very serious consideration.

17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Will the Defence, Mr. Wladimiroff, meet with the

18 Prosecutor between Wednesday and Monday to discuss the direction of

19 the trial?

20 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I am not sure we are able to comply with that suggestion

21 of the court. I think we have to consider within the team because we

22 see some complications here. I mean, if the Prosecution will present

23 the statements as evidence and we will cross-examine the witness on

24 that evidence, we are not sure whether the witness would have

25 repeated under oath what is in his statement there. So we have to

Page 644

1 consider very carefully each statement, whether we could accept that.

2 I am not sure it is within the limits we have set out for the

3 Defence so we have to discuss that.

4 The second problem might be that we are not complete

5 during Friday, no -- on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday we are

6 not all complete, so I am not sure whether we are able to comply with

7 this suggestion. It seems to the Prosecution that we have to make

8 the first move. I have to think about that too.

9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think I have made the first move.

10 MR. WLADIMIROFF: The Prosecution is not going to approach us.

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have approached you for them.


13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have suggested a meeting.

14 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I fully understand.

15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You will not be altogether; is that what you are

16 saying, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday?

17 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, that is correct. We will give very good thought.

18 We will certainly discuss it tonight and let us see how far we can

19 come, but I am not in a position now to promise that we will be able

20 and willing to meet with Prosecution on this issue, but we will try

21 to find a solution, if possible.

22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Mr. Niemann? Would you like to

23 continue?

24 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, thank you, your Honour. Might Mr. Lukac be brought in,

25 please?

Page 645

1 MR. DRAGAN LUKAC, recalled

2 Examination continued by MR. NIEMANN.

3 MR. ORIE: Your Honour, would you allow me? We have this computer, we try

4 to work with it, but we have no mouse today. I asked already the

5 computer should be installed. I do not know whether this can be

6 quickly; if I so, I would highly appreciate it to be done. I asked

7 already the person who seems to be responsible for the computers to

8 get me one, but he went away and did not come back. So if it can be

9 solved quickly, I would be very glad if it would be solved; if not,

10 then of course we will do without.

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: My colleague says that he is coming down.

12 (To the witness): Mr. Lukac, I understand that you are still under oath.

13 You took an oath yesterday and you understand you are still under

14 that oath? (The witness nods in the affirmative).


16 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): Mr. Lukac,

17 yesterday towards the end of your evidence you were telling us how

18 you were taken to Brcko and you were there around the end of April,

19 early May. On 2nd May at about 4.30 in the afternoon, were you then

20 taken out to a bus?

21 A. [In translation]: The 2nd May 1992, we were informed by the

22 military police which guarded the prison that we would be transferred

23 to the military prison in the Bijeljina barracks. In the afternoon,

24 sometime in the afternoon, we were taken out and put on a bus which

25 then set off to Bijeljina. It was guarded by two army vehicles, by

Page 646

1 two APCs, with JNA members.

2 After we arrived at the barracks in Bijeljina, at the

3 prison, we were taken out to the pista, to that pista where soldiers

4 usually gather. We were told to raise our arms, put them behind our

5 heads and align ourselves. Now, along that strip of land, that

6 pista, there were two tanks and they were manned with men on them,

7 and one was who was detained in Brcko and he was brought there while

8 he was a Muslim. He was told to step out of the column and to move

9 in the opposite direction, that is, from the direction that we were

10 moving in and he did that.

11 Q. What happened to this man then?

12 A. He was killed then because the machine gun was open from the tanks

13 and he was shot there on the spot without an explanation.

14 Q. Were the tanks, JNA tanks, so far as you are aware?

15 A. Yes, they were JNA tanks and the barracks also belonged to JNA in

16 that town.

17 Q. The barracks at Bijeljina, they were JNA barracks, were they?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. While you were at Bijeljina in the JNA barracks, were you beaten or

20 otherwise mistreated during this time?

21 A. Immediately upon our arrival we were taken to the gym which is within

22 the barracks, on the premises of the barracks, and we were ordered

23 to sit down on the floor and then members of the military police

24 immediately began to mistreat us. They beat us with different

25 objects, kicked us with feet, with rifle butts, rifles they had with

Page 647

1 them, and it lasted all day until about 23, 2400 hours.

2 Q. On 3rd May 1992 did some JNA officers enter the room where you were

3 and call out a list of names?

4 A. On 3rd May some time in the afternoon a group of JNA officers entered

5 that gymnasium hall that we were in and said that they would read out

6 some names, and that those whose names were read should move to the

7 opposite side of that gymnasium where we were. Then they read out

8 six names. It was six of us of whom Simo Zaric while we were in

9 Brcko, in the prison in Brcko, had told that we were treated as

10 political prisoners.

11 Q. Were you then taken out into the middle of a field?

12 A. We were then ordered again to put our hands behind our heads and to

13 come out of the gymnasium one by one. We did that. We were escorted

14 by military police and that group of JNA officers who also followed.

15 When we came out, we followed a path which goes by the building of

16 the barracks taking into a football field, a soccer field, which is

17 also within the barracks of the JNA in Bijeljina.

18 In the middle of that soccer field was a JNA helicopter

19 and it was already switched off. I remember that the propeller was

20 moving, I remember the detail, and next to it there were also some, a

21 group of JNA officers. We were then taken to this helicopter and we

22 were ordered to board it which we did.

23 Q. Once you had boarded the helicopter can you tell me who was in it?

24 A. When we boarded it, we found the three men from Bosanski Samac who

25 were sitting on a bench in that helicopter. In the middle of the

Page 648

1 helicopter was a coffin covered with a Serbian flag, and in it was a

2 member of Grey Wolves paramilitary formation, and we knew him in

3 Brcko because he used to come to the prison where we were kept, and a

4 JNA policeman. So that after that a civilian also boarded and, in

5 all likelihood, it was a member, a JNA or a Kos, K-O-S, member. Then

6 we were chained together, nine of us, and then the helicopter took

7 off.

8 Q. Were you able to see where you were going when you took off in the

9 helicopter?

10 A. Through the windows of the helicopter we could see the ground below,

11 yes, in the direction of the flight.

12 Q. Were you able ultimately to determine where you were going by looking

13 out of the window?

14 A. I did not know at first, but after some time I realised we were

15 flying over the Sava River and then after some time more I recognised

16 the town below us, it was the town called Sremska Mitrovica, because

17 I had been to that town on several occasions and I knew it, I could

18 recognise it.

19 Q. Where is Sremska Mitrovica, in what republic?

20 A. Sremska Mitrovica is in the Republic of Serbia.

21 Q. Where did the helicopter ultimately land?

22 A. Well, the flight took some more time and then again out of the window

23 I saw that we were above a military airport. It was a rather large

24 army complex, military complex, and down on the runway there were a

25 number of fighter planes and military helicopters. So our helicopter

Page 649

1 landed on the grass field, that is not on the runway, but the grass

2 beside it. Then we were told to get off the helicopter. It was very

3 difficult to do it because we were all chained together. But when I

4 got up I saw that the helicopter was surrounded by very many JNA

5 military police, and they were not wearing SMB uniforms, but light

6 blue of the Air Force uniforms, but they were still wearing the white

7 belts of the military police.

8 Then we were ordered to lie down facing to the earth,

9 presumably, not to look and observe this military complex. I guess

10 that was the reason.

11 Then we boarded a JNA truck. It was covered with canvas,

12 and after a short ride of about five minutes we were again told to

13 get off, whereupon we were taken to a cellar, to underground premises

14 of a facility and when we got there we realised it was a prison

15 because there were bars on the main door.

16 Q. Did anyone tell you where you were?

17 A. After we had spent some time in that prison, they took off the

18 handcuffs off our hands, and before that a JNA officer came into the

19 cell. He was a captain, a rank. After sometime he asked us if we

20 had any questions, and I asked him if he could tell us where we were.

21 He told us: "You are with the Yugoslav People's Army", and I said

22 that I realised that, but I wondered what locality the site and he

23 told me: "This is enough".

24 Q. What happened to you personally when you were there kept in detention

25 at this place?

Page 650

1 A. During the first three days of our stay in that prison cell, from 5

2 o'clock in the morning to 10 o'clock in the evening we had to stand

3 to attention aligned in rows, and on a third day or so, the military

4 police, whose various guards requested us to sing songs with Chetnik

5 lyrics.

6 Q. Were you taught these songs or were these songs that you knew?

7 A. We did not know the text, the lyrics. They told us what were the

8 lyrics and then we sing them in a chorus and trained.

9 Q. In addition to making you sing songs, did they make you do anything

10 else?

11 A. On the wall of this prison room there was a drawing of Draza

12 Mihailovic. Draza Mihailovic was a Chetnik leader, was a Chetnik

13 leader from the Second World War. From time to time we were put in a

14 column one by one and they ordered us to kiss the drawing of Draza

15 Mihailovic.

16 Q. Did they do anything to you concerning your religion?

17 A. Also after some time in that prison room, the military policemen

18 asked us to learn how to make the sign of a cross in the orthodox

19 way. The sign of the cross is made in a different way in the

20 orthodox religion than in the Catholic religion, because the orthodox

21 use three fingers whereas the Catholics use the whole hand.

22 Q. Do you know what happened to people who refused to do these things?

23 A. Nobody tried to refuse to do it because simply everyone knew what

24 would happen, that means the beatings. All of us from time to time

25 in the next couple of days learned how to do it.

Page 651

1 Q. Did you then later discover the name of the place where you were, the

2 name of the military establishment that you were?

3 A. In the next couple of days from the military policemen that guarded

4 us and who changed every three hours, we learned from them that we

5 were at the JNA barracks at Batajnica. Batajnica is a town very near

6 Belgrade.

7 Q. Would you look now, please, at this map that I show you? (Handed)

8 Just by looking at the map itself, can you tell me what that map

9 shows?

10 A. This map shows the north eastern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina and a

11 part of the Republic of Serbia as well as a part of the Republic of

12 Croatia, that is, the eastern part of the Republic of Croatia.

13 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, I tender that map, your Honours.

14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Has Defence seen the map and what number would it be

15 and do you have an extra copy for the Judges?

16 MR. NIEMANN: 72, your Honour. I did give a copy to the Defence, your

17 Honour. Perhaps that might be marked and handed to the witness?

18 With the assistance of Miss Sutherland, I will ask that the map be

19 displayed on the projector, if your Honours please.

20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No objection to Defence 72?

21 MR. WLADIMIROFF: May I just have a glance at it so I can recognise it?

22 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, please show it.

23 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, I recognise it, yes.

24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No objection to ---

25 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No objection.

Page 652

1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: -- Prosecution 72 will be admitted.

2 MR. NIEMANN (To the witness): Mr. Lukac, would you please with the

3 pointer show us where Bosanski Samac is on that map?

4 A. Bosanski Samac is here.

5 Q. That green line immediately above Bosanski Samac, do you recognise

6 that , what that is?

7 A. The green line marks the border between the Republic of

8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Republic of Croatia.

9 Q. In your evidence you said you went from Bosanski Samac to Brcko. Can

10 you show us Brcko?

11 A. This is Brcko.

12 Q. Then you said you were taken to Bijeljina, can you show us that?

13 A. There is Bijeljina.

14 Q. Then it is at Bijeljina you boarded a helicopter. Can you show us

15 approximately the route that the helicopter followed?

16 A. I could not tell you the exact route, but I remember one bit

17 when we were flying over the River Sava. The River Sava is along

18 the border between the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the

19 Republic of Croatia, and later on between the Republic of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, so somewhere here.

21 Q. Where did you go from there, after you crossed the border into

22 Serbia?

23 A. Probably this way, because I told you I remember very well that we

24 flew over the town of Sremska Mitrovica which is here and we arrived

25 to Batajnica which is here.

Page 653

1 Q. That is the place that you just described a moment ago in your

2 evidence where you were kept?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Perhaps the exhibit might be returned, if your Honours please? On

5 12th May in the early afternoon were you then gathered up and ordered

6 to board a truck?

7 A. On 12th May in the cell where we were entered a group of officers, of

8 JNA officers. Among them was the first class captain which I

9 mentioned when I spoke about our arrival to that prison, and while we

10 were in that prison we learned that he was a security officer at the

11 JNA barracks at Batajnica. They carried with us four camouflage

12 uniforms worn by JNA soldiers without no rank insignia. From nine of

13 us that were in there, they chose four of us and told us to put on

14 those uniforms. After that they handcuffed us and they put white

15 bandages around our eyes. After that they took us out of the prison

16 and they put us on a military truck.

17 Q. Were you then driven in the truck for sometime?

18 A. The drive lasted for some 30 to 40 minutes, and after that the

19 vehicle pulled down and we were told to get off.

20 Q. Were you able to recognise the place where you had arrived?

21 A. No, I could not recognise the place because we were blindfolded with

22 white bandages.

23 Q. After the blindfolds were taken off and so forth, were you later then

24 told by a captain where you were?

25 A. After that we were taken into a room and the blinds were taken off,

Page 654

1 so that I noticed that we were in a room which was a school room of

2 the JNA barracks because they all look alike. After some half an

3 hour, a captain, a JNA captain, entered the room and he told us we

4 were at the barracks of the military police in Zemun. Zemun is a

5 city very near Belgrade.

6 Q. Did you later find out why you had been brought to this place and why

7 you had been required to dress in this uniform?

8 A. While we were there nobody told us why we were brought there, but we

9 managed to conclude that we had probably been brought there in order

10 to be filmed for the Belgrade TV and probably shown wearing those

11 uniforms as members of either the Croatian or Muslim army.

12 Q. After going to this place where were you then taken?

13 A. On 14th May, that means four years ago to this day, we were

14 handcuffed again and blindfolded and we were taken back to the

15 Batajnica prison where we were held before that.

16 Q. How long were you then held at the Batajnica prison?

17 A. At the Batajnica prison we remained until 26th May 1992 when in our

18 prison arrived three members of that Fourth Detachment from Bosanski

19 Samac. We were told that out of the nine of us four were to go back

20 with them to Bosanski Samac and I was among those four people.

21 Q. Were you then taken back to Bosanski Samac?

22 A. Yes, we were handcuffed and blindfolded again and then with a van we

23 were taken back to Bosanski Samac.

24 Q. What happened to you when you got back to Bosanski Samac?

25 A. Upon our arrival to Bosanski Samac, we were taken into the yard of

Page 655

1 the police station, and after that the four of us were imprisoned in

2 one of the garages that is in that yard.

3 Q. For how long were you then imprisoned in Bosanski Samac?

4 A. In this first period in that garage, as far as I can remember, we

5 were there up until 23rd June, and after that we were transferred to

6 the prison cells in the police Station building.

7 Q. During the time you were in Bosanski Samac, either in the garage or

8 in the prison cells, how were you treated?

9 A. We were treated very cruelly in the same way as they treated us

10 during the first phase that we spent at Bosanski Samac. We were

11 abused, we lived in very difficult conditions, especially in that

12 garage because in there the floor was concrete, we had nothing to

13 sleep on, just two blankets for the four of us. The food was very

14 bad. Especially after some 10 days upon our arrival, we received

15 only one meal per day, and that meal contained a piece of bread large

16 as a cigarette box and with some marmalade over it. That is what we

17 had to eat for the next 70 days.

18 Q. During that time did you lose weight?

19 A. While I was in the camp and in those prisons I lost 30 kilos. I

20 left prison with 70 kilos and before the war began I had exactly 100

21 kilos.

22 Q. How long did you stay in the cells for, up until what date?

23 A. In that cell in which we were imprisoned in the first place there

24 were two people per each cell, and on 4th July 1992 two people were

25 exchanged, so there were just two of us left there. We were

Page 656

1 practically in a solitary cell for some 60 days and we were exchanged

2 on 4th September 1992.

3 Q. Where were you exchanged?

4 A. The exchange took place on the motorway Zagreb/Belgrade near the town

5 Okucani.

6 Q. Who supervised the exchange?

7 A. The supervision was done by the UNPROFOR members and by the

8 representatives of the International Red Cross.

9 Q. Mr. Lukac, in the course of your evidence yesterday you were telling

10 us about the paramilitary groups and I think you mentioned the Seselj

11 paramilitary groups. Were there, to your knowledge, any other

12 paramilitary groups operational in the area of Bosanski Samac at the

13 beginning and during the course of the war?

14 A. According to the knowledge I had of the situation, this paramilitary

15 group that since the beginning of the war, that is, the occupation of

16 our municipality, was on the territory of our municipality, that

17 particular group belonged to Seselj's units. I was certain about that

18 in the month of October 1992 when I read in a Serbian newspaper

19 called The Telegraph, I read there an interview with Slobodan

20 Miljkovic, called "Lugar", who belonged to these units and this

21 Tribunal has got an indictment against this person, and that person

22 said in that interview very precisely that he and his men belonged to

23 the units of Vojislav Seselj, that is, they belonged to the radical

24 party from Serbia.

25 Q. Had he belonged to any other paramilitary group, do you know?

Page 657

1 A. In the same interview he states that previously he used to belong to

2 Arkan's units and that he had been trained in a camp of Arkan's

3 soldiers in Erdut.

4 Q. Once you were exchanged and were released, did you then proceed to

5 have a medical check-up upon your release?

6 A. After I left the prison, I had a medical check up and a number of

7 injuries were stated at that check-up that I got while I was in the

8 prisons in Bosanski Samac or in the prisons of the JNA.

9 Q. What were the injuries that you suffered?

10 A. It was found that I had some fractures of the skull, eight teeth were

11 broken, my ribs on the right-hand side were broken, my right

12 kidney had been damaged; my sight deteriorated. These were the

13 most important damages to my health with some minor injuries that

14 accompanied that.

15 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. I have no further questions, your Honour.

16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Cross-examination for the Defence?

17 MR. KAY: No questions, your Honour.

18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Lukac, you are excused. Any objections to Mr.

19 Lukac been permanently excused? Mr. Lukac, you are excused

20 permanently. Thank you for coming. Mr. Niemann, would you like to

21 call your next witness?

22 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour, I call Sulejman Tihic.

23 SULEJMAN TIHIC, called.

24 THE WITNESS [in translation]: I solemnly declare that I will

25 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Page 658

1 (The witness was sworn)

2 Examined by MR. NIEMANN

3 Q. Would you state your full name, please?

4 A. My name is Sulejman Tihic.

5 Q. When were you born?

6 A. I was born on 26th November 1951.

7 Q. Where were you born?

8 A. I was born at Bosanski Samac.

9 Q. Did you live there all of your life?

10 A. Yes, I did.

11 Q. Did you attend university at Sarajevo where you graduated with a

12 degree in law?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Did you work as a judge for four years and as an attorney for four

15 years?

16 A. Yes, I did. I was also a public Prosecutor.

17 Q. Did you for some time have your own private practice as a lawyer in

18 Bosanski Samac?

19 A. I was an attorney for nine years.

20 Q. What is your nationality?

21 A. I am a Bosniac.

22 Q. What is your religion?

23 A. I belong to the Islamic religion.

24 Q. Mr. Tihic, at the start of the war were you involved in politics in

25 Bosanski Samac district?

Page 659

1 A. Yes, I participated as the chairman of the party of Democratic

2 Action.

3 Q. Can you just tell us what that particular party represents?

4 A. In the political life of the town and of our region, and even more

5 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, participated on a voluntary basis, not on

6 a professional basis, and that party represented the interests of the

7 Bosniac, that is at that time the Muslim people.

8 Q. Were you also President of the Town Assembly in Bosanski Samac?

9 A. Yes, I was a member of the Town Assembly and at some stage I was also

10 the President of the Town Assembly. I would like to say that it was

11 the town not the whole municipality.

12 Q. These positions that you are speaking of, are they elected positions?

13 A. To all the functions I held, I held them after the elections where I

14 was chosen among many candidates.

15 Q. Had you been involved with the SDA since August 1990?

16 A. Yes, I have.

17 Q. You were elected President in September 1991; is that correct?

18 A. Yes, I was.

19 Q. Did you become a member of the National Committee of the SDA for all

20 of the former Yugoslavia?

21 A. It was the highest representative body, the political body, yes, that

22 was the main committee.

23 Q. What responsibilities and duties did you have as a consequence of

24 your political office?

25 A. I held almost all the office in the town, starting from the President

Page 660

1 of the Fire Brigade Association, then the President of the Town

2 Assembly and in the municipality I was one of the members of that

3 Assembly. I was a member of the Security Council in the Dobje region

4 which contains nine municipalities. I was the Deputy Chairman of the

5 Party of Democratic Action for that region, and for the Party of the

6 Democratic Action I was part of this main national Council, and also

7 the chairman of the Council for legal questions.

8 Q. What responsibilities and duties did you have when you worked for the

9 Council for Security of Bosanski Samac?

10 A. I said that all my offices were political. I did that on a voluntary

11 basis, that is, my responsibility was primarily political towards

12 those people that elected me. In this Council for Security, we were

13 discussing the issues that would be of the interests of all the three

14 nationalities that lived at Bosanski Samac. We were trying to solve

15 interethnical issues, that is, the attentions or incidents that may

16 have arised. Partly we succeeded, but, as you know, we were not able

17 to prevent the clash itself.

18 As far as we in Samac was concerned, maybe that conflict

19 could have been prevented had it not been for the outside

20 intervention, everything directed from that centre.

21 Q. When you talk of outside intervention, to what are you referring, in

22 particular?

23 A. Well, we are talking about the so-called Yugoslav People's Army. Had

24 it not been for it and for the weapons that it had distributed to

25 only one nationality, it is sure that that particular nationality

Page 661

1 would have been more ready to negotiate with the Muslims and the

2 Croats, and the conflict could have been avoided because it is

3 difficult if they have all the weapons and we do not have

4 anything, they do not want to negotiate, they want to do only the way

5 they want to do things. The army was on their side 100 per cent.

6 Q. What nationality are you referring to when you say this?

7 A. The army was on the side of the Serbs.

8 Q. When you say you worked with representatives of each of the groups in

9 order to resolve interethnic disputes, what particular groups,

10 political groups in particular, are you referring to?

11 A. I worked for the Security Council in our Assembly with the Serb

12 Democratic Party and its President, Blagoje Simic, Croatian

13 Democratic Union, HDZ, Pavo Catic, the SDP, the former Communist

14 reformers, Liberals; we all worked in a body and we were trying to

15 solve the problems in our life. I co-operated with everybody. They

16 were all my party, Serbs, Croats, Muslims, we all visited each other

17 for religious holidays on the Christmas or Bayram almost until the

18 day of arrest.

19 Q. You spoke earlier of the JNA. Do you recall an organisation referred

20 as the Fourth Detachment?

21 A. The Fourth Detachment was a part of the JNA that they belonged to its

22 organisational structure. I know that because the Fourth Detachment,

23 their Commander and Deputy Commander, in a way took part in all of

24 the meetings we had in town trying to forestall the conflict, and the

25 Commander of, I believe, the 17th Tactical Group, which is part of

Page 662

1 the JNA of Brcko garrison, he also attended our sessions and

2 represented the Fourth Detachment as being their part.

3 Q. Can you tell us the names of the Commander and Deputy Commander of

4 the Fourth Detachment?

5 A. The commander was Radovan Antic and Deputy, Simo Zaric, although in

6 fact.

7 Q. Who was the Commander of the 17th Tactical group of the JNA?

8 A. Lieutenant Colonel Stefan Nikolic. He was also Deputy Commander of

9 the JNA barracks in Brcko.

10 Q. In 1990, I think you just touched on this a moment ago in your

11 evidence, did the JNA take away the weapons from the local

12 Territorial Defence unit?

13 A. Yes, it did. I believe it was May 1990 they took away the weapons

14 from Territorial Defence. I think they also did it in Samac, and I

15 also heard about it, I think, I am not quite sure, I am not positive,

16 but it also happened in the barracks in Davinter.

17 Q. How was this received, this action received, in the local community

18 in Bosanski Samac?

19 A. At the moment when these weapons were taken away, these decisions are

20 implemented overnight. The democracy was not at such level one could

21 protest or react to this because the JNA was still so powerful at the

22 time that nobody even dared think that they could do something

23 against it, and all this was done very quickly; so that people did

24 remonstrate and were against it, but there was no organised protest.

25 Q. Who was technically responsible for the arming and controlling arms

Page 663

1 of the Territorial Defence?

2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Keep your voice up, please, Mr. Niemann.

3 MR. NIEMANN: Sorry, your Honour. (To the witness): Who was technically

4 responsible for the arming and controlling of arms of territorial

5 defence?

6 A. The Territorial Defence was under the jurisdiction of the presidency

7 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The presidency of the

8 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina or, rather, the authorities of the

9 Republic starting with presidency to regional, to local authorities,

10 and various companies were responsible for the arming of the

11 Territorial Defence and they set aside resources for the financing of

12 that.

13 Q. With respect to the creation of the Fourth Detachment in the area,

14 how was this received by the local community?

15 A. The local population and all politically organised forces, that is,

16 parties with the exception of SDS, this was not received as well. We

17 thought that the JNA was taking over the functions, the task of the

18 Territorial Defence, probably fearing that it would have sufficient

19 influence on the Territorial Defence, and thus, it to a certain

20 extent paralysed the Territorial Defence because the Fourth

21 Detachment was nothing else in terms of the organisation and work.

22 It functioned as the Territorial Defence, but it fell under the

23 jurisdiction of JNA rather than the Republican authorities.

24 Q. Was your assistance sought by the JNA in terms of the establishment

25 of this Fourth Detachment?

Page 664

1 A. If you mean directly, no, they did not ask any our assistance when

2 establishing the Fourth Detachment. They did it on their own first

3 secretly and then they admitted it at the Assembly, but later they

4 tried to win our support to this Fourth Detachment. I, as the

5 President of the local SDS, was contacted personally and they tried

6 it also with other political parties. However, we refused. We wanted

7 those men of the Fourth Detachment to join the Territorial Defence on

8 an equal footing with all the others who already were in the

9 Territorial Defence, but Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic and men around

10 him refused to accept it precisely because in that manner they would

11 lose the command over that detachment.

12 As I have said, the Territorial Defence was under the

13 local, that is, republican authorities, republican presidency;

14 whereas JNA and the Fourth detachment were under the command of the

15 army, that is, Chief of Staff etc., all those in Belgrade.

16 Q. What did the Commander of the JNA, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, do in

17 relation to yourself concerning the Fourth Detachment?

18 A. He once invited me, he asked me to come to their command outpost at

19 Obudovac for a talk. I received a message through Simo Zaric and I

20 informed about it. The executive board of the party for Democratic

21 Action has said I would not go alone, and we set up a delegation

22 which was also made of Izet, Izet Izetbegovic, and we went to

23 Obudovac for talks, but when they saw that Izet was present there, I

24 believe they renounced some intentions, some intent, to try to

25 persuade me and we talked about the JNA which controlled the entry

Page 665

1 points into town, the access to the bridge and the police and local

2 authorities should be suspended. But we refused that proposal and we

3 discussed that and some other matters. We, perhaps, talked about

4 preventing the conflict and then returned to Samac. I could see that

5 they were not very happy to see Izet, Izet Izetbegovic, come with me

6 and I believe they changed the topic because of that.

7 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic discussed with you the question of

8 surrendering control of the Bosanski Samac bridge into Bosanski Samac

9 which up until this stage had been under the control of the police?

10 A. Yes, I have just said that. He asked that this patrol, that his

11 patrol, takes a point of traffic some 200 or 300 metres away from the

12 bridges, and that they should control all of the entries and exits

13 from Bosnia, that is, everything that enter the territory of Bosnia

14 and exited from the territory of Bosnia. We refused it because we

15 thought that there were regular police Forces and that this was

16 within their jurisdiction, and that under the constitution and by

17 Statute the army had absolutely no jurisdiction over this because

18 there was no state of war and, therefore, we resisted that.

19 Q. About a month before the commencement of the war in April 1992, did

20 you observe things happening in or about Bosanski Samac, especially

21 with respect to the Serbian population?

22 A. Well, it happened that JNA garrison in Brcko pulled out almost all

23 the weaponry and all the soldiers and they were deployed in Serb

24 villages around Samac. They were digging in, building trenches and

25 distributing weapons among the Serb population as a kind of

Page 666

1 mobilization, I do not know, and they took up some positions and that

2 caused, gave rise, to anxiety, to concern, among others, non-Serb

3 people, if I may say so.

4 Q. Did the non-Serb people do anything to try to defend themselves

5 during this period leading up to 17th April 1992?

6 A. Well, you see, since, if I may say so, fear began to set in seeing

7 some being armed officially or semi-officially, at least. Even in

8 towns Serbs (sic) were given no weapons through the Fourth

9 Detachment. So non-Serb peoples or, rather, members of non-Serb

10 peoples also tried to find their way about. Some people bought some

11 weapons and, as a political party, of course, we also addressed the

12 question. We tried to activate the Territorial Defence, but that was

13 difficult because the Territorial Defence had no weaponry apart from

14 the list and registers.

15 Q. The translation that I see on our screen here says that Serbs were

16 given no weapons through the Fourth Detachment; did you say Serbs

17 were given no weapons or non-Serbs were given no weapons?

18 A. Non-Serbs did not get weapons, Serbs did, whether from the Fourth

19 Detachment or the JNA, and we tried, Croats and Bosniacs, the only

20 way to look after their security was to do it through reserve

21 militia. We mobilized the reserve militia force which the Serbs did

22 not want to join, and we tried to ensure, to provide, security in the

23 town, access roads, the bridge, and to work through those legal

24 structures to arm.

25 Q. What weaponry was available at this time to the non-Serb population

Page 667

1 who tried to set up some sort of defence capability?

2 A. Well, those were automatic and there were some hunting rifles,

3 carabins again, shotguns, no heavy weaponry. One could not even

4 imagine it; I could not imagine that one could have that or even buy

5 it or get it, perhaps a bomb here and there.

6 Q. Leading up to the time just prior to the commencement of the war,

7 what role did the members of the Fourth Detachment play in and about

8 Bosanski Samac?

9 A. I think that the role of the Fourth Detachment was to prevent the

10 organisation of any defence and resistance in the town of Bosanski

11 Samac. It was mostly concentrated in the town. At first they

12 organised propaganda saying that they were part of the JNA which

13 belonged equally to Serbs, Croats and Bosniacs, and try to involve

14 some Croats and Bosniacs, and some of them did join because in

15 Bosnia, especially JNA, was held in high esteem. It was highly

16 appreciated as a force which was common to all, and until a few years

17 ago many people did not feel the changes and, therefore, some of them

18 were misguided and joined the Fourth Detachment. But when they

19 realised the true intentions of this Fourth Detachment, many left it

20 and finally it became the Fourth Detachment of the Serb people.

21 They patrolled the town, they held the levies, the banks,

22 pretended they were guarding and taking care that the Croats from

23 the neighbouring Croatia do not make any incursion. There were

24 sometimes conflicts with the reserve militia from time to time in the

25 town itself, because there were some ruffians, some thugs, in the

Page 668

1 Fourth Detachment, people behaving violently, and they sometimes used

2 to carry their weapons around the town and even fire them. But the

3 purpose was to prevent any other organised defence. I think that was

4 the principal raison d'etre, the principal purpose, even though they

5 were saying they were there to defend us from a possible incursion

6 from the Croatian side which was not a real danger and there were no

7 such attempts.

8 Q. Just prior to the commencement of the war in Bosanski Samac or the

9 attack on Bosanski Samac, were you informed about the existence of

10 paramilitary units and can you tell us how it is that you became to

11 be informed of that?

12 A. I was informed from different sources by different people that

13 representatives of part of these paramilitary forces were arriving or

14 were in the town, and one of my clients of Serb ethnic origin from

15 Obudovac came to me and they called, they addressed the lawyers as

16 "doctors", and he said: "Doctor, a JNA helicopter has landed with

17 those in red berets", and he said there were about 20 of them. He

18 said they were at Obudovac. They were very violent; that they had

19 tried to rape some women; that local Serb patrol which was somewhere

20 on the border with Croatia got drunk in a pub together with them

21 because they knew that they caught that patrol and they beat them and

22 shaved their heads because they were long haired, and he said that

23 they came, that a JNA helicopter brought them in, and that in the

24 village there they were already trying to rape women and causing

25 various trouble.

Page 669

1 Q. In the area of Bosanski Samac which was the first town to be

2 attacked?

3 A. There was an attack on Modrica but it did not last long, a day or

4 two, and then the legal authority was re-established, but after that

5 or before that it was Bijeljina.

6 Q. Could you recall the night that Bosanski Samac was attacked?

7 A. Well, I can. That night, rather, on the eve of the attack, we had a

8 meeting among people, representatives of the Fourth Detachment, we

9 had representatives of SDS, of HDZ, I represented SDA, there were

10 representatives of reformers and ex-Communists, and Simo Zaric on

11 behalf of the Fourth Detachment, subsequently we were told he was to

12 join us later because he was at consultation with Colonel Nikolic in

13 Brcko.

14 So we waited for him and when he came were planning that

15 meeting, and we had agreed to bring together, to unite, to merge, the

16 American the Fourth Department and the Territorial Defence. But

17 Simo, when he came back from that meeting in Brcko, refused any

18 possibility, any prospect, of joint detachment.

19 Beforehand, I think he was ready to compromise and go

20 along with that, but after returning from Brcko he refused it flatly,

21 and then I began to doubt, to suspect, that something could happen

22 because he was not ready to make any compromises. After the meeting,

23 we went to a pub for a drink and then again we heard stories that

24 Samac would be attacked, but they were frequent, and I simply did not

25 take it seriously.

Page 670

1 I went home and around 2 o'clock I heard the fire shots.

2 I looked out of the window and in my yard I saw the members of the

3 Fourth Detachment. We already knew them more or less. In the

4 morning I was at home and when day broke out, I tried, I went to a

5 neighbour who was Serb together with my wife, my sister, my brother

6 and my sister-in-law. From there I moved to my colleague, Borisav

7 Pisarevic, because I risked to be killed in the house of this Serb,

8 and I thought that Boro was more eminent, more prestigious, among

9 Serbs that he could protect me and perhaps take me out of the town.

10 In the afternoon, Boro came to fetch me. He came with

11 his car and took me and my wife, and I stayed with him for a day, and

12 since he lived on the fourth floor, we watched what was happening in

13 the town, shots, the fire (indecipherable). I think that the fire was

14 at random. There were organised resistance because at the moment of

15 the attack, the Fourth Detachment came out in the streets, took the

16 key positions, cut off telephones and those paramilitary formations

17 and the Serb Territorial Defence, attacked at the police -- I do not

18 know, do you want me to go into detail?

19 Q. No.

20 A. At any rate -----

21 Q. There is just one matter about the translation that I saw. I think

22 you said there was armed resistance; did you say there was armed

23 resistance or no armed resistance?

24 A. Armed resistance existed when the militia was attacked and a part of

25 the citizens of Samac came out with weapons to the centre of the

Page 671

1 town. There were some shots, there were some resistance. Around 10

2 or 11, there was a group of people more or less organised at

3 resisting, but when JNA tanks and the armed cars of the JNA entered

4 the town, people realised that it was hope against hope, and they

5 returned home or went to another village, to a neighbouring village,

6 a Croat village, near Bosanski Samac. If there was any armed

7 resistance it existed only until the entry of JNA tanks and then it

8 ceased and people scattered.

9 Q. What happened to you? Were you, did you leave the town? Did you stay

10 there? What happened to you personally?

11 A. That night I spent with Boro and next day Boro was trying through

12 some connections to get me out of the town. He called Simo Zaric and

13 others. I knew Simo Zaric. He was the head of Security and I was

14 the regional Prosecutor; we had known each other for 15 years through

15 the judiciary and the police, and we tried to get him to take me out

16 of the town, but nothing happened. He did not answer the telephone.

17 The next day a member of the paramilitary formations

18 came, I do not know if they were Grey Wolves or, and a local

19 policeman and arrested Boro and me and took us to the police. There I

20 found Kapetan Crni who asked me to make a statement for radio to

21 invite the people not to resist. While I was in the corridor, when I

22 came out, Miljkovic, "Lugar", that is, he asked me if I was the

23 President of SDA. I said "yes" and then he beat me and several

24 others also started hitting me.

25 They took me to the radio and I there made a statement

Page 672

1 which they had written for me to read. After that they detained me

2 in the SUP. They immediately started harassing me, beating me, and

3 it lasted.

4 In Bosanski Samac especially, there were so many

5 formations, so many uniforms, armies, Arkan's men, the Grey Wolves,

6 Red Berets and whoever came here would start looking for the more

7 important people, for the principal ones, and they would ask for

8 these chiefs, and I was one of those. So they battered us and they

9 beat us. First, they used the police truncheons, then they all got

10 broke, so they picked up whatever they could find and they hit us

11 with whatever they could lay their hands on. We were forced to sing

12 songs. We kept singing those Chetniks songs belittling Croats and

13 Muslims and emphasising Chetniks.

14 Q. When you went to the radio station what was the message that you had

15 to read out over the radio when you were taken to the radio station?

16 A. It was to invite the citizens of Samac not to resist those units

17 which had occupied Samac, that was the first thing, and to tell them

18 that their security was guaranteed and that the Serb authorities

19 would treat correctly and that nothing bad would happen to anyone.

20 Q. Did you do this of your own free will or were you under force to do

21 this, to read this?

22 A. Well, not of my own free will. Of course, I had to read it and it

23 was not a journalist, it was one of Arkan's men who interviewed me.

24 Q. After you gave this broadcast over the radio what happened then?

25 A. Then that Arkan's men told me to go home. I understood then from the

Page 673

1 memorial centre, and so JNA APC there and some soldiers, and I

2 remember before I went to the radio station that Captain Crni to take

3 me back, and it sounded curious that this one said go home. I

4 immediately suspected they wanted to kill me, that I would move and

5 they would shoot then. But while I was thinking about that, a

6 journalist who was there came down and switched the recording device,

7 and he asked them to take him home in the police car, and I seized

8 the opportunity and also entered that car.

9 After that they took me to the SUP and for a while I was

10 detained in the SUP building, and two Arkan's men interrogated me,

11 beat me and even called a girl in Belgrade and that girl ostensibly

12 asked what were you doing, and her boyfriend would turn, they said

13 towards me while I would say: "Well, I am hitting" and his

14 girlfriend was listening to what to what he was doing.

15 Then they took me to the storage room of the Territorial

16 Defence and I found there another 50 men or so, mostly Croats and

17 Bosniacs. Then two or three days later they started with

18 interrogation, mostly by Simo Zaric, the Deputy Commander of the

19 Fourth Detachment.

20 Q. At some stage did they offer to allow you to leave if you paid a sum

21 of money?

22 A. You see, it is very difficult to describe the situation in a very

23 short time. They were just coming, beating, killing, there was -- it

24 was incomprehensible, beyond understanding. There was another Lazar

25 Stanisic, a friend of mine who was a Serb. I asked him whether he

Page 674

1 could help me. He told me: "You have to give 20,000 Deutschemarks

2 to the captain called Crni, and there might be a possibility for him

3 to release you".

4 I told him then: "My brother is at Kladanj. Telephone

5 him, tell him that and he will bring the money", and after that Lava

6 left. We were transferred to Brcko, and when Lazar came to Brcko I

7 asked him whether my brother brought the money. He said: "Yes, he

8 did. Everything is going to be fine, you are going to be released",

9 but to no avail because they only took the money. They did not let

10 me go. After that I realised, I learned from my brother they did not

11 ask for 20,000,000 Deutschemark but 15,000 Deutschemarks. I do not

12 know whether they changed that, 15,000 Deutschemarks.

13 Q. Did you at any stage ask Simo Zaric why you were being held?

14 A. When they were interrogating me, I asked why I was detained and he

15 said in order not to organise some kind of resistance, that was some

16 kind of preventative detention, and that I would soon be released in

17 a couple of days. That is what he had promised me, but I do not know

18 whether he was lying or whether he was not able to release me,

19 because all the others were involved that he had to ask in order that

20 I could be released, but they did not release anyone, two or three

21 persons, all the rest continued to be detained.

22 Q. Did then subsequently Simo Zaric come and tell you that you were

23 going into the army or going with the army, I should say?

24 A. No. He only told me that the army was going to come to pick us up

25 and take us out of Bosanski Samac, because in those 10 days we were

Page 675

1 so much beaten that it was a question of a day or two, if they

2 continued to beat us at the same peace, we were all going to be

3 killed from the beatings. We were full of bruises.

4 Captain Petrovic from the army, the Chief of the Security

5 from Brcko, came to take us. I knew him from before the war because

6 he used to come to Samac. He came with two trucks. They loaded us

7 on the trucks and they brought us to the barracks of Brcko. When the

8 soldiers saw us at Brcko, they told us later on they were prepared to

9 beat us, but when they saw in which way we looked, how hard we were

10 -- how hardly we could walk, they decided not to beat us.

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will stand in recess for 20 minutes, please.

12 (4.00 p.m.)

13 (The court adjourned for a short time)

14 (4.20 p.m.)


16 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour. Mr. Tihic, if I may, I would like

17 to take you back just a moment to something you said in the course of

18 your evidence before the break. When I was asking you about the arms

19 that were available to the non-Serbs that were setting up some form

20 of defence, you mentioned rifles etc., you also said maybe a bomb.

21 Can you assist us in what you were talking about with regard to that?

22 A. The arms that were available to the non-Serbian population were the

23 arms that were at the police -- the station of Public Security,

24 and then we also tried to organise something, and so we had some 25

25 automatic rifles, and there was also a box with some 10 or so

Page 676

1 grenades. We distributed this to the members of our party which

2 acknowledged the receipt of those weapons and when necessary they

3 patrol, that is, they guarded the entrance and the exits to the town

4 during the night where we had information that Samac would be

5 attacked, but these were all old automatic weapons from the Second

6 World War. I think they used to call them "kenca" or something like

7 that.

8 Q. Moving up into 26th and 27th April, I think you were then with a

9 group of other people taken to Brcko?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. When you arrived at Brcko what happened?

12 A. From Brcko, they first of all unloaded us, if I can use that

13 expression, and then the military policemen searched each and every

14 one of us. They took all our valuable possessions that we still had

15 and that had not been taken away from us in Samac. To me,

16 personally, they took away my watch and some 150 to 200 Swiss Francs,

17 my driving licence and a ring.

18 After that they put us in various rooms. Myself and

19 three other people, I think Dragan Lukac, Osman Jasarevic and Grga

20 Zubak, we spent the night in a separate room. They told us that was

21 a room what they called for the extremists and we had to sleep

22 handcuffed. We were not really able to sleep because constantly

23 people were coming in and showing us as we were some kind of

24 monsters. Then the next day we were transferred to the room with

25 other prisoners and the handcuffs were taken off.

Page 677

1 Q. What was this establishment that you were taken to in Brcko?

2 A. That was, those were military barracks in Brcko. Brcko are 50

3 kilometres from Samac. I used to go there quite often because I had

4 family there and also on official business as an attorney. I know

5 the way those barracks look and I was imprisoned there.

6 Q. This was a JNA barracks, was it?

7 A. Yes, the JNA barracks, of course. The rooms where we were were the

8 rooms that used to belong to some kind of a prison because they had

9 those kinds of bars that you find in prisons and all the other things

10 that are usually to be found in prisons. There were military police

11 there and the members of the army. It is true some members of the

12 paramilitary groups would also come in, they will threaten us that

13 they would kill us, also the red berets and so on, but they would not

14 beat us at Brcko and they were not allowed to beat us.

15 Q. How did you distinguish between the JNA soldiers, the paramilitaries

16 and the police that were at Brcko?

17 A. The JNA soldiers used to wear the uniform that we all knew from the

18 previous JNA. We all knew what this uniform looked like because it

19 had the five pointed star, then the greenish uniform, everyone knew

20 about this type of uniform, but all the others had other types of

21 insignia. For example, the four S letters. I saw that all the

22 Wolves wore it the other way round from the usual way you find those

23 four Ss. Then there were other Chetnik insignia.

24 Usually, we call them special type of soldiers because

25 they had sort of camouflage uniforms in various colours, whereas the

Page 678

1 JNA wore this olivey green type of uniforms, and also the army

2 soldiers were usually younger people, neatly with a neat hair cut,

3 whereas the others were older people, ugly with beards and so on, and

4 they were wearing things that would create a feeling of fear, for

5 example, skulls.

6 Q. What about the police, how did you determine which ones were the

7 police?

8 A. The military policemen had white belts and that was the way one could

9 recognise a military policeman.

10 Q. I think you touched on the fact that they seemed to be all working in

11 together, is that correct, these three groups?

12 A. They operated together. They attacked Samac together. First of all,

13 they attacked Bosanski Samac. That was done by the Serbian

14 Territorial Defence and by the paramilitary units and the JNA joined

15 in later around 11 o'clock, and the barracks, we would see them

16 because we would clean the barracks and we were able to see the red

17 berets and all those people that used to attack Samac. We could see

18 them at the barracks as well. What way was the co-ordination done and

19 who had to obey to whose orders, I cannot say but they were all there

20 together.

21 Q. How long did you stay at Brcko?

22 A. We stayed at Brcko up until 1st May when the bridge by Gornja was

23 destroyed, the passage from Bosnia into Croatia. We were all

24 awakened by the detonation and the iron door opened after that

25 detonation. The same day, around 2 o'clock, we were put on to the

Page 679

1 buses and then transferred to the barracks at Bijeljina. There was

2 "Fadil Jahic Spanac". That was the name of the barracks.

3 Q. What happened, what happened when you went to Bijeljina?

4 A. At Bijeljina, first, they took us off the bus, then they lined us up

5 and then they took us into a room up somewhere on the first floor,

6 and then they searched and they singled out somebody from Brcko. He

7 was singled out and he was among us from Samac and, as far as I could

8 hear, that man was killed straightaway, shot.

9 We from Samac, we went up into the barracks on the first

10 floor. We stayed there for about an hour and then we were taken into

11 a gymnasium where we remained for the whole duration of our stay at

12 Bijeljina. While I stayed at Bijeljina, I would very often clean the

13 premises of the barracks so that I could see the monuments to Fadil

14 Jahic Spanac after whom the barracks were named.

15 We were also beaten at Bijeljina. They were doing awful

16 things. They forced me to clean the toilet with my hands, to take

17 everything out, and everything had to be clean and white. There was

18 no way to use any detergent or anything, so you had all this, to take

19 all this with your hands, and they were threatening us. You would

20 see when the Arkan's people come how things would be.

21 Q. Bijeljina, was this a JNA barracks as well?

22 A. Yes, 100 per cent that was the JNA barracks because the people who

23 guarded us were also soldiers, JNA soldiers.

24 Q. Apart from the JNA soldiers at Bijeljina barracks, was there any

25 other people guarding you or participating at that barracks other

Page 680

1 than the prisoners, of course?

2 A. I said at Brcko I saw these members of paramilitary groups, the Red

3 Berets and the Grey Wolves that were at Samac. I did not see them at

4 Bijeljina. They were only the JNA reserve soldiers and the ordinary

5 JNA conscripts. That is what I saw, but they threatened that the

6 Arkan soldiers would come but while I was there I could not see them.

7 Q. How long did you stay there at Bijeljina barracks?

8 A. I stayed there for three days, and then an officer came and he called

9 out six of us from Bosanski Samac and they put us on a helicopter,

10 and when we arrived to the helicopter there were three persons from

11 Bosanski Samac that were already there, Izet Izetbegovic, someone

12 with the second name Dragicevic, Ivo from Hasic and Dr. Miroslav

13 Kedacic. In the middle of the helicopter there was a coffin with

14 mortal remains. The name was there. I cannot remember it exactly,

15 but it started something with "Fuk", either the surname or the first

16 name started with "Fuk". One could see it was a younger man. There

17 was a member from Arkan's unit there, a military man, and somebody,

18 another civilian. Later on I met the civilian when I was at the

19 airfield at Batajnica when they interrogated us.

20 From there we were flown by helicopter to Batajnica. I

21 could see when we were crossing the River Drina and the River Sava,

22 they were threatening us that they would throw us out of the

23 helicopter. We were all attached together and handcuffed. There were

24 eight or nine of us, so in case they would throw one person, all the

25 others would simply follow afterwards.

Page 681

1 Q. Who was threatening this?

2 A. The member of the Arkan's unit who was sitting in front of the coffin

3 and he asked the officer: "When are we going to start to throw them

4 out?" and the officer said: "Wait a while, a little bit later", but

5 they did not even try.

6 Q. I think you said that the helicopter continued to where -- could you

7 repeat it again, where you went to?

8 A. At that moment we did not know, but later on when we landed we

9 realised that we landed on a runway, a runway of an airfield. Then

10 they put us on a truck and then put us into a building and put us in

11 the cellar rooms in that building, and so we could feel we would hear

12 that we were at an airfield because we would constantly hear the

13 landing or the taking off of the planes. That lasted the whole day.

14 For sometime they were hiding it from us where we were, and we were

15 trying among us to find out where we were, at which airfield.

16 Somebody said some Sombor or Batajnica. Later on they told us that

17 we were at Batajnica.

18 Q. Where is Batajnica?

19 A. Batajnica is a military airfield just outside of Belgrade.

20 Q. When you say "military" do you mean JNA?

21 A. Yes, that was an airfield that belonged to the Yugoslav People's

22 Army.

23 Q. What happened to you while you were kept at Batajnica?

24 A. The abuse continued, the same type of abuse we used to have in

25 previous camps, the same Chetniks songs. We even had in that camp a

Page 682

1 drawing of Draza Milhajlvic, the Chetnik commander, that had been

2 sentenced as a war criminal after the Second World War. In the

3 morning when we got up, we had to come nearer and kiss him in his

4 front and say: "Good morning, General". We had to stand from 5

5 o'clock in the morning till 10 o'clock in the night. We were not

6 allowed to sit down. They were interrogating us and hitting us,

7 abusing -- all these things happened just as in the previous camps.

8 Q. When you were doing this you were being forced to do this?

9 A. Could you please repeat the question, I did not understand?

10 Q. When you had to do these things, including the kissing of the

11 picture, you were doing it under force?

12 A. Yes, of course. Who would else kiss Draza Mihajlvic? They forced us

13 to do that. Somebody even missed and he kissed him in the lips

14 instead in the full head and said he is not gay to kiss him on his

15 lips. One really had to pay attention where one was kissing the

16 picture.

17 Q. What was the nature of the songs that they forced you to sing? What

18 were they about?

19 A. Those songs were celebrating the Serbian people and the combat, and

20 at the same time they were rather inorientated towards the Croats and

21 the Muslims. There was also the text, a song by very popular

22 Croatian singer called Tice which was called "Let's Become Very

23 Foolish this Night", and we had to change the lyrics saying that

24 "Let's be Foolish Tonight and take out the Croatian Eyes", and so on.

25 Me, I as the Chairman of the SDA was forced to sing another, a song

Page 683

1 against Alija Izetbegovic, saying that Alija Izetbegovic's skin was

2 on a particular mountain and that, so what, because we are going to

3 make cigarette paper out of it. I and Izetbegovic had to sing that

4 song and they said, "The Chairman, you have to sing that song", and

5 while they were beating you they would just say "louder" and

6 "louder" and then the others had to join in and sing.

7 Q. What were they beating you with when they were forcing you to sing

8 these songs?

9 A. They were beating us at Batajnica with very big batons, big military

10 police batons, and then they forced us to beat one another, to slap

11 one another, and then if you hit him just slightly then they would

12 hit you. Then a policeman would tell you to hit somebody and if you

13 hit that person, then somebody else would hit you and say, "Why are

14 you hitting that person?" So, if you obey somebody then somebody else

15 starts hitting you because you obeyed and then somebody else because

16 you disobeyed. Then they would put five chairs, one next to the

17 other, and these chairs you could pass through underneath and then

18 they give you five seconds to pass underneath those five chairs, to

19 take my jug of water then go through two rooms and then have to fill

20 them with water and then come back within five seconds. It was

21 absolutely physically not possible. Then this ill-treatment would

22 last for several hours, where you were running, they would either

23 make you fall or do something else so that you cannot make it. Then

24 when they had enough of it, then they would let you go and then they

25 would count five seconds slowly.

Page 684

1 Q. While you were doing this were you being beaten at the same time?

2 A. Yes, while you were going underneath the chairs they would kick you

3 with his foot on your head or on your back and say, "Hurry up", and

4 while you were carrying the water in case you came across one of

5 them, then they make it seem that you were attacking them and then

6 they would ask you, "Why are you attacking me?" pretending that you

7 wanted to take his rifle or something like that.

8 Q. Did they interrupt your sleep when you were kept there?

9 A. Yes, they did. One could never be sure that when you would go to bed

10 at 10 o'clock, go to sleep at 10 o'clock that you could be in peace

11 until 5 o'clock in the morning because somebody would come in and

12 force us to sing songs, one song, two songs, three songs, because

13 they had three-hour shifts and they were bored so they would

14 interrupt things. Sometimes you would not get any sleep, and then

15 the next day from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. you had to stand and you were not

16 allowed to sit down.

17 Q. Now on 10th May were you then taken to another place in Serbia? Were

18 you taken to Zemun?

19 A. I was not taken to Zemun but other people from my group were taken

20 there, not me.

21 Q. I see. What happened to you; what was the next thing that happened

22 to you?

23 A. In the meantime while those people were in Zemun, myself and Izet

24 Izetbegovic and Dragicevic, we were taken to the television one day.

25 They were making a programme about the war.

Page 685

1 Q. Do you know where this television station was?

2 A. It was somewhere on the premises of the JNA airfield. They were

3 taking us to a building and the cameras had already been there, and

4 there was a journalist, Lazanski, I know him from TV, and he started

5 to ask us various questions. He asked us: How did we drive out Serbs

6 from Samac? I said, no, we did not drive them out; they drove us out

7 because they attacked Samac. Then he said, he asked me: "How did you

8 throw the Serbs out of the police?" I said, "No, that is not correct

9 at all. Out of 20 policemen 12 were Serbs and the rest were the

10 Croatians and Muslims, even the Croats represented the majority of

11 population there." Then somebody would take me and said: "How can

12 you lie? You can't say such things." You see that in all documents

13 and in all reports things should be stated in this way. While I was

14 going out somebody hit me on my head. They asked me all kinds of

15 things, and we would all give answers to it. Obviously you had to

16 say that all the treatment was all right, that nobody was beating us,

17 that the sanitary conditions were good and that we had enough food

18 and so on.

19 Q. Did you then subsequently learn that you had been tried for crimes?

20 A. I do not know. I am not sure. I heard that somebody stated that I

21 was guilty or that I was a criminal, I do not know what for. I

22 cannot even suppose what for. I was arrested at the very beginning

23 of the war. I can only be their victim, nothing else, because not

24 even later I did not participate actively in the war.

25 Q. Were you told that you had been sentenced to death?

Page 686

1 A. No. In fact, that is how it was. One day at Batajnica a soldier

2 came and he gave me newspapers to read. The name of the newspaper

3 was a Belgrade newspaper called Vecernje Novosti. I had to read an

4 article out loud saying that myself, Izet Izetbegovic, Alija

5 Fitozovic and others from Samac, from the SDA, were sentenced by the

6 Muslim side to death. That is what I read, if you mean that, but I

7 knew that was a lie, that was only propaganda, because the Bosnian

8 side had no reason to judge me and try me.

9 Q. What happened then? What was the next thing that happened to you?

10 A. We remained at Batajnica. In the meantime another group arrived to

11 Batajnica. They were from somewhere and there was an American among

12 them and a Croatian soldier. The American and the Croatian soldier

13 were beaten quite a lot. The American all the time while they were

14 beating him, he did not say a word; most people do scream or cry.

15 Somebody told him to extend his hands but he was all the time keeping

16 his hands next to his body, and he realised that, the soldier

17 realised that he knew yoga and that he could not feel pain if he held

18 his hands in that way and when he had to spread out his hands, his

19 arms, then he started screaming as well. So he was beaten quite a

20 lot. The Croatian soldier was beaten quite a lot and they were forced

21 to take the penis one into each other's mouth, and somebody else

22 called Alija was beaten very much and he subsequently the following

23 morning died from the beatings. They accused him he had killed some

24 hundreds of Serbs. They brought him to me. They knew I was a judge

25 and they said: "Now you are a judge you have to sentence him." Then

Page 687

1 they would ask him: "How many people you killed?" He said:

2 "Hundred". I saw he was completely, completely massacred. Then they

3 start and say: "How many?" Then he said: "A thousand". Then they

4 said: "How many?" and he would say "A million". He was completely

5 out of his mind of those beatings and then the next morning he died.

6 He was handcuffed to somebody else, Bidoric, he moved his hand and

7 realised the other person was dead. They used to use an iron thing

8 that they would put on his fist and then they would kick him on his

9 back. It was unimaginable the way they beat them. When they brought

10 this group there must have been some 50 soldiers, some reservists,

11 they were constantly beating when they brought that American, the

12 Croatian soldier, and that man named Alija. There was also a JNA

13 lieutenant, a Muslim, they imprisoned him, arrested him somewhere and

14 they did the same thing to him.

15 Q. From Batajnica where did you then go?

16 A. From Batajnica they transferred us to Sremska Mitrovica. This is a

17 town in Serbia, in Vojvodina. We went to the Sremska Mitrovica

18 prison establishment, penitentiary, that was built by the

19 Austro-Hungarians, and part of it was a military camp of the JNA and

20 that is where we were. When they brought us there, around 1800

21 hours, they did not stop beating us until 3 o'clock in the morning.

22 We would just fall down unconscious and they would strip us and they

23 would beat us. When you fell unconscious they put you into the room

24 and when you would come round they would take you back. It all

25 lasted until 3 o'clock in the morning. When a captain came I heard

Page 688

1 that he was a Croat and he stopped those beatings.

2 Q. Were you transferred to Sremska Mitrovica on 27th May 1992?

3 A. On 27th May military policemen came, some other military policemen,

4 not the ones that guarded us, and they handcuffed us and put us in

5 the military pinzgauers van and then they took us from Batajnica to

6 Sremska Mitrovica.

7 Q. Was it regular JNA soldiers who were guarding the prison at Sremska

8 Mitrovica?

9 A. Those were 100 per cent regular JNA soldiers. While I was there

10 these were all conscripts; not even reservists were there, although

11 the prisoners that I found there, they were prisoners from Vukovar.

12 They told us that there had been some reservists there, but not at

13 that time while I was there. There was only the army. I know

14 because while we were cleaning the officers' building Tito's picture

15 was still hanging there and at one time he was the Commander of the

16 Yugoslav Army.

17 Q. Were you beaten whilst you were kept at Sremska Mitrovica?

18 A. As I said, the first day that was the worst time, we waited between 6

19 in the afternoon and 3 o'clock the next morning, and then it

20 continued with the beatings. As they would give you lunch -- they

21 would give you breakfast and dinner. Every morning after breakfast

22 there were some 50 of us. As soon as they entered we had to stand up

23 and they would start and beat us on our backs. The ones that were

24 new we were beaten more frequently, later on a bit less. I know that

25 my ribs were broken; I could not sit down. I remember I also

Page 689

1 urinated blood. These were all huge soldiers. You had to turn

2 towards the wall and then he would run towards you and with a big

3 boot he would hit you, and then if you fell you had to stand up again

4 and he would hit you in the kidneys. It was usually done after

5 breakfast and after dinner. The three of them would enter and out of

6 us 50, roughly speaking, every third one of us would be beaten. We

7 also had to sing the songs there, the same type of songs as

8 previously. They even made a choir out of us. Some of us that were

9 more gifted musically and knew how to sing, we had to sing and lined

10 up and the others were given cloths in order to wave with those

11 cloths. Then they would single out somebody beat, you and you had to

12 continue singing and then they would bring you back to the choir and

13 then you had to sing, continuing singing. When the International Red

14 Cross would arrive, just on that day they would not beat anyone; as

15 soon as they would leave straightaway in the afternoon they would

16 start the beatings again. If somebody would complain to the ICRC

17 they told it to the commander and then the treatment was even worse.

18 Then they had an informer in the room. No matter while members of

19 Red Cross would be just with us, somebody that was in with us would

20 tell it to the others. So after the ICRC would have left they would

21 call that particular person and beat that person even more.

22 Q. During the time that you were there, what were the conditions like in

23 terms of food and hygiene and things of that nature?

24 A. At Sremska Mitrovica, as compared with Batajnica, the hygiene was

25 much, much better. We had a toilet and we could go there without

Page 690

1 having to ask the guard for permission. There was enough water to

2 drink. One could wash one's hands and face. How we could take a

3 bath, that is quite true, once in a fortnight, they would push all 50

4 of us and while the water was usually either too hot or too cold, but

5 compared with Batajnica where there was nothing or in Samac or

6 Bijeljina or Brcko, it was much better. In Batajnica sometimes 10

7 days would go by without being able to wash oneself, not to mention

8 some other hygienic needs. So that Mitrovica was better, even though

9 there we could take a bath once in 14 days, but at least one could go

10 to the washroom without having to ask. In other places it was very,

11 the most dangerous thing was to go to the WC, to the loo, because you

12 usually went between the guards and they hit and beat, so one tried

13 to refrain and not go whenever possible.

14 There in Mitrovica they also brought television there; I

15 think it was BBC. One morning the camp commander came and he called

16 out me, Filip Karaula, he was a commander of a part of the front in

17 Vukovar, and a German called Raisner, I think he was called. So he

18 called out our names. We came out. You could stand by the wall, you

19 put your hands behind you and bent your head and you wait for

20 something to say. There were two of them, big ones, with electric

21 truncheons, and one of them said: "I want you to speak for

22 television. I want you to say that nobody beaten you. I want you

23 to say that you have enough food. I want you to say that you have

24 hygiene. Is that clear? he said: "Any questions?" I asked: "Well,

25 can I say that the paramilitaries battered me in Bosnia, that they

Page 691

1 plundered and robbed me?" He said: "Well, as you like, but don't

2 forget that I can find you even in Rijeka where your family is." It

3 was strange to me how could they know where my family was. So I did

4 not speak about that.

5 Then after that when the cameras were recording us, the

6 camp commander was there and the head of KOS of the Counter

7 Intelligence Service in the camp while we were making our statements

8 were there. So we had to say what we had been asked to, except they

9 allowed us to take a bath in the morning and we shaved so that we

10 could look decently.

11 Q. So you were cleaned up but you said what they told you to say?

12 A. Well, we had to; one could not say anything else. We had to say that

13 the conditions were good. They asked me to invite Alija Izetbegovic

14 to set free some soldiers who allegedly had been captured somewhere

15 in Bosnia, and I did address that invitation to Izetbegovic to

16 release those soldiers, if he had done because then we would also be

17 set free. I was asked to say.

18 Q. You say that the policeman that was standing in guard there when you

19 came in had electric batons. What are they? Can you tell us what

20 they were?

21 A. As a matter of fact, we called them "electric batons". I do not know

22 what you call them. They are sticks, they are batons of about 60

23 centimetres long and when it hits you on the back something like a

24 spring, like a metal spring or like a small bullet or ball comes

25 out and hits you here and it hurts more than the whole of the stick.

Page 692

1 So it had a spring or something and then a small ball which just

2 jumps out, flies out when the baton touches you and hits you here in

3 the chest and it hurt more than the stick, the baton itself.

4 Q. The next day, after you gave your statement, were you told anything

5 about the statement that you had given by the people that were

6 keeping you captive?

7 A. That day we were taken out for a walk; even those walks were very

8 few. Then there was the commander, the head of the camp, and they

9 asked this soldier if I could talk to the commander and he approached

10 him and asked him and I was permitted to do so. I said: "Commander,

11 are you satisfied with the statement I gave, I said what you had

12 asked me to?" And he said: "Yes, I am satisfied and our command is

13 satisfied." Then I said: "Well, does it mean that I shall be

14 exchanged together with Croats who were being prepared for exchange,

15 for swapping with the Croatian Army?" And he said: "You're asking me

16 too much", and that was the end of it and I was exchanged. He did

17 not say that.

18 Q. What happened then? What was the next thing that happened?

19 A. Well, shortly afterwards, two or three days later, there was this big

20 exchange when all the Croatian prisoners who were in Mitrovica and

21 the Bosnian prisoners from Bosnia were made part of that big exchange

22 package, and they took place at Nemetin, but the exchange itself, two

23 days before that we hardly slept at all. We had to clean. We

24 boarded 15 bus and to board the bus meant battery. First we

25 travelled from Mitrovica to Nemetin, it is about 100 kilometres. It

Page 693

1 took us 12 hours to get there. We stopped in every Serb village and

2 whenever we would stop they would open the doors and they would let

3 in persons, those women, and they would start hitting us and those

4 guards, soldiers rather, military police who were travelling with us,

5 they gave alcohol and they drank. It was such harassment, such

6 mistreatment, such battery, that I did not think that one could

7 survive that. When we arrived in Nemetin the International Red

8 Cross came and said that the exchange was being postponed because the

9 Croats had not brought all, and that I think created even greater

10 fear and the soldiers continued to do whatever they liked; I mean

11 those who wanted they hit us, they beat us. At a certain point in

12 time so many persons had boarded the bus that one did not know who

13 was hitting whom and who was beating whom. There were too many of

14 them. I think they lost consciousness at one point, and when I came

15 I realised that there was peace reigning and since we had to sit bent

16 with our head between our knees and as I was sitting like that I saw

17 somebody walking up and down the bus and I could see that his

18 trousers had some holes or something, that they were strange

19 trousers, and then when I raised my head I saw they were UNPROFOR

20 or something, that is Ukrainians, or rather that we were at the

21 site of exchange. Then from Slavonia people came from Bijeljina and

22 they were also taking vengeance on us, but after that the exchange

23 took place. It took place at Nemetin which is near Osijek in

24 Croatia.

25 Q. What date did you leave Sremska Mitrovica? What date?

Page 694

1 A. 14th August in the morning about 3 or 4 o'clock. The exchange took

2 place that day around 6 o'clock that afternoon.

3 Q. Were you then subsequently medically examined and can you tell us the

4 results of your medical examination?

5 A. When I arrived in Rijeka I went for these examinations, that is

6 X-rays of my bones and ribs, and the scars were an indication that I

7 had three ribs broken, that healed in the meantime, and there were no

8 other fractures. I lost four teeth when they battered me in Samac.

9 But whether there will be some delayed effects I do not know. That

10 is what the physician find out, the fracture of the three ribs, four

11 broken teeth. I felt the effects of kidneys and urinated blood. Now

12 I do not feel, I have no complaints, but I do not know whether

13 something will develop later.

14 Q. For about a month or so after you were released were you unable to

15 sleep?

16 A. Yes, and there were problems like that. I was afraid to sleep and

17 whenever I went to sleep I dreamt of being in a camp. I dreamt that

18 it was taking place in camp, so when I would wake up I simply could

19 not regain my consciousness. I did not know whether the reality was

20 the dream or whether the dream was the reality; whether I was

21 dreaming I was free or the other way. For about a month I had very

22 serious complaints. I would wake up at night sweating and it would

23 take me about 15 minutes to simply realise that I was free, that I

24 was not in a camp any longer, but it happened more and more seldom

25 and now I have such dreams once in six months or so. But I have got

Page 695

1 rid of that more or less. I did go to doctors and was told that it

2 simply had to be. They recommended me the therapy to talk about it

3 to give vent to this, and so one gets rid of such problems and that

4 is that now.

5 MR. NIEMANN: No further questions, your Honour.

6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Do you have any questions?

7 MR. KAY: No questions, your Honour.

8 JUDGE STEPHEN: I have a question. We have heard from you about

9 paramilitaries, about the JNA. I have not heard anything of the army

10 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Did you ever come

11 across members of that army or did that army not exist as far as you

12 know?

13 A. When I was in Bosanski Samac at that moment there was a Serb police

14 and Serb Territorial Defence. It was not called the Army of the

15 Republika Srpska, but in point of fact there is this forerunner and

16 there were those formations which arrived from Serbia, Grey Wolves,

17 Red Berets. So there was the Serb Territorial Defence which is the

18 forerunner of the Army of the Republika Srpska.

19 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.

20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Just one question, Mr. Tihic. Izetbegovic whom

21 you mentioned, do you know whether he was related or is related to

22 the President of the same name?

23 A. They are children of two brothers; he and the President of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina are children of two brothers.

25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Any additional questions, Mr. Niemann?

Page 696


2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to Mr. Tihic being permanently

3 excused?


5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Then you are permanently excused, Mr. Tihic. Thank

6 you for coming.

7 (The witness withdrew).

8 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I am not sure that our next witness is here.

9 We have been moving with much faster speed, but I think we might have

10 an enquiry made in case the witness was able to be brought down. The

11 witnesses are being kept out of the Hague, not in the city of the

12 Hague. So it is not easy to get them here at very short notice. So

13 I will have an enquiry made just in case the witness was able to be

14 brought.

15 No, unfortunately not, your Honour.

16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will adjourn until 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.

17 (The hearing adjourned until the following day)