1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Friday, 19th July 1996
6 SUADA RAMIC, recalled.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis, could you continue, please?
8 MISS HOLLIS: Yes, your Honour.
9 Examined by MISS HOLLIS, continued.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You may be seated, Mrs. Ramic. You are still under
11 oath, the oath that you took yesterday. You may be seated. Thank you.
12 MISS HOLLIS: Perhaps we could turn off one of those microphones and, Mrs.
13 Ramic, if you could sit back a bit from the microphone? Thank you.
14 Mrs. Ramic, when we finished yesterday you had indicated that after
15 the events that occurred in the military barracks you a few days later
16 went to your village to visit your brother and after some time you
17 came back again to your home in Prijedor. Do you recall your home
18 being searched after your return to Prijedor?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you recognise any of the people who searched your home?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who did you recognise?
23 A. Milorad Kicanovic.
24 Q. How did you know Milorad Kicanovic?
25 A. Because we had worked together in the Auto Transport Company.
1 Q. What was his ethnic group?
2 A. Serbian.
3 Q. Did he explain to you why your home was being searched?
4 A. No, he said nothing. He only said, "I need to search your home".
5 Q. Was anything taken from your home?
6 A. No, he just threw things around, took everything from the wardrobe,
7 searched everything and then left.
8 Q. What happened after this search?
9 A. Since I was standing in the corridor on his way out from the bedroom,
10 he knocked me down and raped me in the corridor.
11 Q. Did he threaten you in any way after the rape?
12 A. Yes, if I told about this to anybody he would come back and kill me.
13 Q. The day after this search were you again taken to the police
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who took you there?
17 A. Strika.
18 Q. How did you know Strika?
19 A. Because he had been on duty at the bus station and travelled with me
20 when we went from Dubica. Sometimes he got on the bus sometimes in
21 Donji Milanovac sometimes in Gornji. That is how we knew him as a
23 Q. What was his ethnic group?
24 A. Serbian.
25 Q. How were you transported to the police station?
1 A. In a green Mercedes.
2 Q. Did he say anything to you on that trip to the police station?
3 A. He cursed me and mentioned the derogatory names and we should all be
4 killed since we do not want to be controlled by Serbian authority.
5 Q. When you were at the police department did you see any Muslims there
6 that you knew?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Who was that?
9 A. Faruk Rizvic and his workman, Osman.
10 Q. What was their condition when you saw them at the police station?
11 A. They were in a bad condition. They were covered with blood. Their
12 clothes were torn.
13 Q. When had you last seen Faruk prior to that day in the police station?
14 A. I had seen him one day prior to that time during the search.
15 Q. When you saw him that day who was with him?
16 A. His workman, Osman.
17 Q. You said this man's name is Faruk or Farud?
18 A. Faruk Rizvic.
19 Q. Thank you. After you saw Faruk were you taken to a room at the police
21 A. Yes, they took us to a room called "buhara".
22 Q. What was the condition of this room to which you were taken?
23 A. It was all covered with blood.
24 Q. What happened to you in this room?
25 A. Zeljko Boronja who had worked in Kripo came in with two soldiers in
1 camouflage uniforms and with masks on their faces. You could not see
2 who they were and then I was raped again.
3 Q. When you were raped were you also beaten?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mrs. Ramic, at this time after the things that had occurred to you
6 over the last few days, what was your emotional and mental state?
7 A. Horrible, very, very bad.
8 Q. After this last rape at the police station were you taken to Keraterm
9 from there?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who took you there?
12 A. Strika.
13 Q. Do you recall how long you were held at Keraterm?
14 A. I cannot remember. I know when they brought me to the guard house at
15 the entrance they took me to the gate where I saw about 2,000 people
16 in two rooms.
17 Q. While you were being held at Keraterm, did you see any of the
18 detainees that you recognised?
19 A. At the first door, in the first room, I saw Faruk Rizvic, his workman
20 Osman, Feho Ramic, Halid Nezirovic and a lot of other people I knew
21 because I cannot remember, but most of them were known to me. In the
22 second room, when I saw my brother, Suad Ramic, and my nephew, Fadil
23 Softic, and (indecipherable), then I was sick.
24 Q. What was the condition of these people that you saw there?
25 A. They had -- they were all beaten up, exhausted, covered with blood.
1 Their clothes were torn.
2 Q. Mrs. Ramic, while you were held at Keraterm did you see any detainees
3 there who were beaten or injured?
4 A. Yes, a guard who was a stranger came and took me to the guard house
5 and 10 minutes after that, I cannot quite remember how many, Zigic,
6 the taxi driver, Zoran Zigic, followed by someone who called him
7 Nedeljko, was called Nedeljko, they brought me to the area behind the
8 guard house. I could not recognise who was who and what they looked
9 like. When they knocked me down and when Zigic took out the knife and
10 started to stab people, I started vomiting and I lost consciousness
11 and I do not know anything what happened after that.
12 Q. From Keraterm camp were you then taken to Omarska?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who was it who took you to the Omarska camp?
15 A. Policeman Bojic, the son of the forester, the ranger, forest ranger,
16 from Bojici.
17 Q. What was Bojic's ethnic group?
18 A. Serbian.
19 Q. How long were you held at Omarska camp?
20 A. I know that on 3rd August we left so we stayed there until 3rd August.
21 Q. In what building were you held while you were at Omarska camp?
22 A. In the building where the restaurant is.
23 Q. Could you take the pointer on that table and point to the building in
24 which you were held?
25 A. Yes, I can do that because I experienced.
1 Q. To the side of your console there, yes.
2 A. At this entrance, the room right next to this entrance.
3 Q. This is the smaller building across from the long red building?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If you would be seated, please? While you were held in that
6 restaurant building during the night, were you held on the first floor
7 or on the ground floor?
8 A. On the first floor, the second room to the left.
9 Q. Do you know a woman named Hasiba Harambasic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were you in the same room that she was in?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. During the day where were you held in the restaurant building?
14 A. Downstairs in the restaurant. As you go into the restaurant on the
15 left-hand side, we were sitting at a table there, all the women there.
16 Q. So you were in the big room where the food was served?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you know any of the camp personnel, had you known them before you
19 came to Omarska camp?
20 A. I did know some of them, but others I did not, but I did know most of
22 Q. Who are the ones that you knew?
23 A. Mladjo Krkan, Mladen Radic, because he had several names, some people
24 called him "Mladjo", others "Mlado", but his real name is Mladen
25 Radic, Zeljko, Drago Prcac, Nedeljko, Pop, Rade, Brk, Stole, Ckalja,
1 Dragenko and a couple of others. There are more of them, but I cannot
2 remember at this moment.
3 Q. You knew all of these people before you came to the camp?
4 A. Yes, most of them.
5 Q. The ones that you just named you knew before you came to the camp?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You mentioned a man named Zeljko, do you know what his last name was?
8 A. Zeljko Meagic.
9 Q. To your knowledge, what was the ethnic group of these people?
10 A. Serbian.
11 Q. The guards and other camp personnel who worked at the camp, how did
12 they dress?
13 A. They were dressed in camouflage uniforms, or some former JNA uniforms,
14 or in civilian clothes, but most of them wore camouflage uniforms.
15 Q. While you were at the camp were you ever required to perform work
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What type of duties were you required to perform?
19 A. I had to clean the toilets, the rooms upstairs, or go to the
21 Q. Did you perform any duties in the restaurant area itself?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What did you do there?
24 A. We washed the dishes and handed out the meals.
25 Q. When you would clean the rooms did that include rooms on the first
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you ever find anything unusual as far as objects in those rooms?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What did you find?
6 A. We used to find batons, a piece of cable, copper wires pushed through
7 hose, pieces of wood, iron rods, square iron rods, aluminium pieces,
8 and then there was led on top. It was all bloody. We had to clean
9 that and hand it over to the Commander's office.
10 Q. What was the condition of those rooms when you cleaned them?
11 A. They were bloody. We used to find teeth, hair, pieces of human flesh,
12 clothes, shoes.
13 Q. While you were in the camp at Omarska, did you ever see corpses there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How often would you see them?
16 A. Almost every day.
17 Q. Where would you see them?
18 A. Between the big workshop where men were held, where they came out of
19 to go to lunch, and in the area between that building and the hedge.
20 Q. Did you ever see what was done with those bodies?
21 A. They used to come with a small lorry, a yellow lorry, which had a long
22 body, and they would take the dead bodies in the direction behind the
23 white house.
24 JUDGE STEPHEN: Can I ask you to enquire about the hedge? We have not
25 heard of the hedge before.
1 MISS HOLLIS: Yes, your Honour. (To the witness): You mentioned a hedge.
2 Where was this hedge located?
3 A. The hedge was to the left of the white house. There was a lawn there
4 and the hedge was -- and the dead bodies were placed in front of that
6 Q. If I could ask you, please, what I am going to ask you to do will be
7 to leave where you are sitting, come around to the model and for the
8 Court point out where this hedge was located near the white house. If
9 you could do that now, please? You can take off your headphones and
10 just come around and point to where it was.
11 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
12 Q. How far -- if you could put on the headphones -- along there did that
13 hedge run?
14 A. It was a long one, but we did not pay much attention, but this is
15 where the hedge was and this is where the dead bodies were.
16 Q. So did the hedge run parallel to the white house and the small red
17 building? Point in the direction in which the hedge was growing. Is
18 it long-wise?
19 A. It was a long hedge.
20 Q. It ran from that location you pointed how far toward the white house?
21 A. It did not go towards the white house. The hedge was on this side.
22 Q. All right.
23 A. So, we could go around the white house.
24 Q. So the hedge was closer to that small red building?
25 A. Yes, yes it was closer to the red building.
1 Q. Thank you very much. If you could resume your seat? To your
2 knowledge, this yellow truck that you talked about, was this truck
3 used for anything else?
4 A. They brought food in on it.
5 Q. Do you recall an occasion when you saw bodies taken away in a larger
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What do you recall about that occasion?
9 A. When a guard came to pick us up to take us down there, we came to the
10 glass on the way out of the staircase, suddenly they returned us, they
11 took us back.
12 Q. What had you seen before they took you back?
13 A. We had seen the yellow lorry and machine for loading.
14 Q. How big was this truck that you saw on this occasion?
15 A. It was big, bigger than the yellow lorry I referred to earlier on.
16 Q. Had you seen similar trucks like that?
17 A. Please repeat, I did not understand the question.
18 Q. Yes. Prior to seeing this truck, had you seen trucks that were
19 similar to this one?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What type of trucks were these?
22 A. They were similar to the Mann, Fap which is a Yugoslav factory or TAM
23 which is a Slovenia factory of lorries.
24 Q. Do you know what those types of trucks were used for?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What were they used for?
2 A. They used them for public transportation, for the transportation of
3 gravel, wood, etc.
4 Q. Had you heard any sounds or unusual activity the night before you saw
5 this truck?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What had you heard?
8 A. We had heard moans, screams and the noise, the noise of something like
9 a fence being broken.
10 Q. What do you mean "something like a fence being broken"? What kind of
11 noise is that?
12 A. As if you were breaking something.
13 Q. Later that morning, after you had been told to go back to your room,
14 were you brought down to the restaurant area?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you see any unusual activity at the white house that day?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What did you see?
19 A. We saw men being taken out of the white house and then, using a hose,
20 forced them to strip, beat them on the pista, there were people facing
21 the wall.
22 Q. While you were held at Omarska were other women held there with you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you have any idea of the number of women who were held there?
25 A. 36 Muslim women and two Serbian women and two Croat women -- three
1 Croat, three Catholic women.
2 Q. While you were there at Omarska do you recall an occasion when two
3 women named Edna Dautovic and Sadeta Medunjanin were taken from the
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What do you remember about that occasion?
7 A. I remember clearly because that day on 20th a guard had a birthday,
8 he said. On 20th July at half past 10 they came and took away Sadeta.
9 Q. Did you see where they were taken when they were taken from the
10 restaurant building?
11 A. We rushed out, a couple of us, we went to the place where there was a
12 bath tub and a toilet and, of course, when we saw we were shocked
13 because we were expecting that to happen to us every day.
14 Q. What did you see when you looked out of that window?
15 A. Out of the window I saw Zeljko Meagic and Mirko.
16 Q. Who was Mirko?
17 A. I cannot remember his surname. He had a beard. Babic, yes, Babic was
18 his surname. Then we saw the bus with people being taken to it and it
19 said, "Unatrans Bihac" on the bus and then it said, "Private business,
20 owner Seselj".
21 Q. You saw people being put on that bus?
22 A. Yes, when I saw that we were all frightened, but since Tidza had
23 remained behind, because her brother had been called out, she remained
24 with us and watched that incident.
25 Q. Then the people were loaded on the bus. Did you recognise any of the
1 people loaded on the bus?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you ever actually see Sadeta or Edna being put on the bus?
4 A. Yes, when they took them away, they said they would be exchanged in
5 Bihac. As soon as they got on the bus, we went back to our room and
6 Tidza remained behind and then heard her brother's name being called.
7 Q. Without mentioning the names of any women, I would ask you if during
8 the time you were at Omarska, during the night, any women were called
9 out of the room?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How often would this happen?
12 A. Every night.
13 Q. Who would call the women out?
14 A. Mladjo, Drago Prcac, Zeljko Meagic, Nedelkjo Grabovac or Pop, fat,
15 heavily built with a moustache.
16 Q. Again without mentioning the names, did any of the women who were
17 called out ever tell you what had happened to them?
18 A. No, we never told each other what happened.
19 Q. Were you yourself called out of the room at night?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. How often did this happen to you?
22 A. Five times.
23 Q. Who was it who called you out?
24 A. Mladjo, Mladen Radic.
25 Q. This is the man you also referred to as "Krkan"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. When this man would called you out of the room where would he take
4 A. He would take me downstairs to the first room next to the staircase on
5 the way to the kitchen.
6 Q. When he took you down there to this room what did he do to you?
7 A. Raped me.
8 Q. Were you beaten by him as well as raped by him?
9 A. Once only as I was going out.
10 Q. Did you ever see any of the other camp guards or personnel when you
11 were being taken to that room or back from that room?
12 A. Yes, Zeljko Meagic while I was coming out.
13 Q. What happened when you saw Zeljko Meagic?
14 A. He only slapped me in the face and said, "You, whore, scram to your
16 Q. As a result of the treatment to you in the camp at Omarska and what
17 had happened to you previously, did you eventually come to a point
18 where you contemplated trying to find a way to commit suicide?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did someone talk to you about that?
21 A. Biba and Zlata, they did, and they were crying, "No, please do not; we
22 shall survive, we shall live, to tell the truth".
23 Q. As a result of the rapes that were done to you, did you have
24 continuing medical problems after you left the camp and after you left
1 A. Yes, yes.
2 Q. Did those medical problems eventually result in your having surgery to
3 remove your uterus?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. After you left the Omarska camp where were you taken?
6 A. To Prijedor -- sorry, to Trnopolje.
7 Q. From Trnopolje you went back to Prijedor?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How long did you remain in Prijedor?
10 A. Until January 13th '93.
11 Q. What were the conditions like for you in Prijedor during that time?
12 A. Bad. We could not go out. We could not buy anything. If you went
13 out, somebody beat you because many people knew you, so they would
14 take you to the MUP and give you beating, and that was that.
15 Q. How were you able to leave Prijedor?
16 A. I still wonder, is it possible that I am still alive?
17 Q. Did you have to pay someone to get you out of Prijedor?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you recall how much you had to pay?
20 A. I cannot recall that and I would not say that. The important thing is
21 that life was dear.
22 Q. When did you last see your husband?
23 A. Some 10 days before I was taken to the camp.
24 Q. Have you heard anything from him?
25 A. I know nothing. I only know that we saw each other that day.
1 Q. Have you made attempts to find him?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Have you had any success at all in determining what happened to him?
4 A. No, we did not learn anything.
5 MISS HOLLIS: No further questions.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Cross-examination?
7 MR. KAY: No cross-examination, your Honour.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to Mrs. Ramic being
9 permanently excused?
10 MR. KAY: No, your Honour.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mrs. Ramic, you are free to go. You are free to
12 leave. Thank you very much for coming.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You may leave now. The usher will help you.
15 (The witness withdrew)
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Miss Hollis, will you call the next witness? Mr.
17 Niemann, we have a selection today.
18 MISS HOLLIS: Your Honour, we have two motions at this time we would like
19 to be heard. They involve matters that are coming up. We will need
20 to do those in closed session.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: How long do you anticipate it will take to consider
22 those motions?
23 MISS HOLLIS: It should be fairly quickly, your Honour. They deal with
24 issues regarding witnesses.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. We will stand in recess for approximately 10
1 minutes, the time required to convert this to a closed session. Is
2 there any objection from the Defence?
3 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. We will stand in recess for 10 minutes and then
5 we will return in closed session.
7 (Closed session)
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7 (Open session)
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, would you call your next witness,
10 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. The next witness is Emir Beganovic.
11 EMIR BEGANOVIC, called.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Sir, would you please take the oath that is being
13 given to you? Read that oath and take it.
14 THE WITNESS [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
15 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
16 (The witness was sworn)
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. You may be seated.
18 Examined by MR. TIEGER
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
20 MR. TIEGER: Sir, what is your name?
21 A. Emir Beganovic.
22 Q. What is your age?
23 A. I am 41.
24 Q. Where were you born?
25 A. Prijedor.
1 Q. What is your nationality?
2 A. Muslim.
3 Q. What was your occupation before the conflict in 1992?
4 A. I had private restaurant business and together with my wife I had
5 florist shop.
6 Q. How many restaurants or cafes did you own?
7 A. Three, and the fourth one was the florist shop.
8 Q. Where were your businesses located?
9 A. Two of them on the Esada Midzica Street, the third restaurant was on
10 Marsala Tita Street.
11 Q. Is it correct to say that you were well known locally as a successful
12 businessman in Prijedor?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In what part of Prijedor did you live?
15 A. Until 1990 I lived in the old town, in Stari Grad, until I built
16 myself a flat in Salamica Street and I moved then there.
17 Q. After the elections of 1990 and before the outbreak of the actual
18 conflict in 1992, did increasing tensions develop between Serbs and
19 Muslims in the Prijedor area?
20 A. Yes, it was growing after the elections, after the party election the
21 tensions began to grow, but it was not as strongly felt as when the
22 conflict in Croatia broke out. When that conflict broke out, then the
23 tensions began to mount.
24 Q. Before that time had people in Prijedor tended to distinguish between
25 who was Muslim and who was Serb?
1 A. Well, by physical appearance one could not distinguish between them,
2 only if we knew each other, if we knew who was a Muslim, who was a
3 Croat, who was a Serb, but there was no difference whatsoever.
4 Q. Did you have Serb friends as well as Muslim friends?
5 A. Well, at the present time after this war when I look back, I find that
6 I had more friends among the Serbs than among the Muslims, I mean,
7 family friends.
8 Q. As the tensions you spoke of increased before the outbreak of the
9 conflict, did you become involved with a group in Prijedor town that
10 was interested in promoting peace?
11 A. Yes, I joined the League for Peace, and I was on its steering
13 Q. Did the establishment of the League for Peace result from any
14 particular incident or was it a response to the general situation?
15 A. Well, it was spontaneous. I aspired to having all options open in
16 Prijedor just to avoid war, and we thought that regardless of what
17 Party who had voted for ought to join us, and simply show the
18 leadership of the first and the second and third Party that the people
19 was not for war -- that people were not for war.
20 Q. Approximately when was the League established?
21 A. The League was established in '91, sometime towards the end of '91, I
22 cannot remember the month exactly. I believe it was November.
23 Q. Who was the primary organiser of the League?
24 A. Primary organiser was Dr. Esad Sadikovic, called "Eso".
25 Q. Was Dr. Sadikovic a medical doctor who had previously worked with the
1 United Nations?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were there persons of all nationalities on the steering committee?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did the League for Peace have any connection with any political group
6 or any other peace group?
7 A. No.
8 Q. The purpose of the group was to unite people in Prijedor in the hope
9 of avoiding any inter-ethnic conflicts or tensions?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What steps did the League for Peace take in this effort to promote
12 inter-ethnic harmony?
13 A. Well, we mostly organised concerts in public, public concerts in the
14 centre of the town. We tried to organise concerts in the beginning
15 while we still could get permission from the local SUP. We had our
16 meetings in public. Anybody was admitted, whoever wanted to come.
17 But later on things began to be more complex. The SUP refused to give
18 us permission to organise concerts, and they stopped permitting us to
19 rent out a hall for our meetings. It just dwindled and gradually
20 faded out spontaneously because it had no possibilities of continuing
21 its activity.
22 Q. During that period in which the League was able to obtain permission
23 to hold concerts, how many people attended those concerts?
24 A. Well, there was never a concert attended by less than 7,000 or 8,000
25 or 10,000 people even.
1 Q. Were there speeches or messages of peace during the concerts?
2 A. Yes, yes. All the addresses, all the speeches were serving the
3 purpose of peace. There were no speeches actually, there were
4 political messages.
5 Q. I am sorry, the translation says "there were political messages".
6 What kind of messages were delivered during the concerts the League
7 for Peace conducted?
8 A. Well, no, not political messages, messages for peace, peace messages.
9 Q. Eventually the League for Peace disbanded because of obstruction from
10 the authorities?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Approximately when did the League for Peace conclude its efforts?
13 A. I should say towards the end of February.
14 Q. Was that at a time of increasing tensions?
15 A. The tensions were increasing from one day to another at that time,
17 Q. Did you send your family out of the area for safety?
18 A. Yes, I sent them to their relatives in Croatia, in Istria.
19 Q. When did your family leave the area?
20 A. I think they left on 12th March '92.
21 Q. You remained in Prijedor?
22 A. Yes, I remained in Prijedor, and a few days later I moved to Dr. Esad
23 Sadikovic's house.
24 Q. Were you concerned about what might happen in Prijedor?
25 A. I was concerned. That was why I had moved my family away, but I could
1 never dream that anything even remotely like what did happen could
3 Q. Were you in Prijedor when the Serbs took power in a takeover on April
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. After the takeover did tensions mount?
7 A. Well, hour after hour the tension mounted with every hour, ever since
8 the moment they took over the power on 29th April.
9 Q. Were you at Dr. Sadikovic's house when the cleansing of Prijedor town
10 began on May 30th?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. From the windows of Dr. Sadikovic's house or from his terrace, were
13 you able to see what was happening in Prijedor and, in particular, in
14 Stari Grad?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What were you able to see?
17 A. I could see that Stari Grad was ablaze literally. I could even
18 identify the position of my parent's house. I could see it on fire.
19 Literally the whole of Stari Grad was aflame.
20 Q. Did you see soldiers?
21 A. I saw them.
22 Q. How were they dressed?
23 A. Different kinds of uniforms, of different colours.
24 Q. Were those Serbian forces?
25 A. Well, I guess they were.
1 Q. Did you hear announcements over the radio about what Muslims should
3 A. Yes, we had the radio on and we listened, the warnings and
4 instructions how people should behave.
5 Q. What did the radio messages instruct Muslims to do?
6 A. Well, in the beginning they said we should merely stay partly in our
7 houses, that nothing would happen. Then a little bit later on, perhaps
8 after an hour or so, they said that all Muslims should put out white
9 flags on their houses and if they did not have any flags, then perhaps
10 bed linen, sheets or whatever.
11 Q. Did you do so?
12 A. Yes, we put out bed sheets on both sides of the house.
13 Q. You say "we put out bed sheets", who was in Dr. Sadikovic's house with
15 A. That morning there was my friend, Asif Kapetanovic.
16 Q. Then at some point after you and Mr. Kapetanovic had hung the white
17 sheets in response to the instructions on the radio, did he observe
18 something that caused him great concern?
19 A. Yes, at a certain point he went to the terrace on the upper floor and
20 saw that his business premises were on fire. It was a one-storeyed
21 house on the ground floor, they had their business. On the upper
22 floor they had a flat. I heard him scream. I asked him what was it
23 and he said that his mother was in that flat upstairs, and that the
24 flat was on fire, and I ran out. I could see the flames, perhaps as
25 much as 20 metres high. The house was ablaze. It was literally all
2 Perhaps it took him some time to calm down, and he decided then to
3 go and see what had happened to his mother. At that point I did not
4 know what to do. So I decided to go with him. I could not really
5 leave him to himself, because for the past few days he was suffering
6 from kidneys and that was why he was in Eso's house, to treat his
7 kidneys, and he could not, of course, go to the hospital because the
8 hospital had already been taken over by the Serbs.
9 Q. While you were outside were you confronted at some point by a Serb
10 soldier and did you flee that soldier and run into the nearest Muslim
12 A. Yes. The soldier came up and said, "Halt". We were some 50 metres
13 away and I automatically said, "Asif, I am not going to wait for him,
14 I am fleeing", and there was the wire of the house nearby -- there was
15 a hedge of the house nearby and I jumped over that hedge, and then I
16 heard three or four bursts of fire, but I was in the luck, I was not
18 Then I crawled behind that house to another house. I used to know
19 people who lived around there. I knew it was a Muslim house. I
20 knocked on the door and was flabbergasted when I saw another friend of
21 mine, Saim Mesanovic who opened the door for me and let me in even
22 though he was from a different part of the town, and that was his
23 relative's house.
24 Q. While you were in that house was there another announcement on the
25 radio that Muslims should put white ribbons or arm bands on their
1 arms, form columns and go to the main square?
2 A. Yes, they said that all Muslims from that part of the town should come
3 out and head for the town with white arm bands.
4 Q. Did you and the other persons in the house do that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Once outside were you directed by Serb forces toward the area of the
7 taller buildings in the town centre?
8 A. Yes, they directed us in the direction of the small marketplace. Then
9 by Muharem Rujanovic Street, there were three skyscrapers in Prijedor
10 and that is where they stopped, they directed us. There was a column
11 of perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 people. I would not know exactly.
12 Q. On the way did you see any corpses?
13 A. Yes, in the marketplace I went round a pile in which there were some
14 four or five bodies, and then I happened to glance over the area of
15 the marketplace and I saw another body lying there, and then I could
16 not stand it any longer and I turned my head away.
17 Q. Were those bodies of civilians?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When you reached the area they directed you to, were there buses
21 A. Well, the buses were already there, parked.
22 Q. Did Serb forces then begin to separate the men from women and
24 A. Yes, they said that men over the age of 15 should stand, should move
25 to one side, and children below the age of 15 and women should go to
1 the other side.
2 Q. Did you board one of those buses?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Where were you first taken?
5 A. Well, first they took us to the SUP and that is where the buses
6 stopped, by the SUP.
7 Q. So first to the police station in Prijedor town?
8 A. To the police station in Prijedor.
9 Q. How long did the bus remain there?
10 A. Not long, some 10 minutes or so, five or 10 minutes.
11 Q. Were there guards on your bus?
12 A. Yes, there were two or three perhaps. I remember that one had got off
13 and entered the SUP building, probably to get instructions, and
14 returned after a couple of minutes, and the bus continued.
15 Q. I have been referring to your bus. Were there other buses loaded
16 with men and boys over the age of 15 along with your bus at the SUP?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. After the relatively brief period of time at the Prijedor SUP, where
19 were you taken?
20 A. We were taken by JNA street. We came out of the JNA street to the
21 tennis grounds, to Partizanska and then on towards Tomasica.
22 Q. After that where did the buses go?
23 A. Before Tomasica they turned. I had never used that road before.
24 Later on I learned that it was the road to Omarska.
25 Q. Is that where your bus was taken, to Omarska?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will stand in recess for 20 minutes.
3 (11.30 a.m.)
4 (Short Adjournment)
5 (11.50 a.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, would you begin?
7 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): Mr. Beganovic,
8 before I discuss Omarska with you, I wanted to ask you a question
9 about something you discussed earlier. You mentioned that the efforts
10 of the League for Peace were obstructed by the authorities in
11 Prijedor. Which authorities obstructed those efforts?
12 A. Serbian authorities in addition to the SDA Party. They had a great
13 influence in the municipality and in the SUP.
14 Q. So was it Serbian authorities rather than SDA which resisted the
15 efforts of the League for Peace?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. You also mentioned when you were discussing one of the routes taken in
18 your description the street Marsala Tita. Was that Marsala Tita
19 Street in Prijedor town?
20 A. Yes, until 30th May it was Marsala Tita Street, 1992.
21 Q. Let me ask you now about the places you were held in Omarska camp.
22 Were you first held in a room in the restaurant building for one
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Looking at the model in front of you, can you use the pointer which is
1 on the table to show us where the restaurant building is located?
2 A. The restaurant building is here. (Indicated).
3 Q. In what part of the restaurant building were you initially held?
4 A. The buses were parked here. We went through this entrance and we were
5 put in this room here.
6 Q. After the first night where were you held then, in what part of the
8 A. I was transferred to the pista, here.
9 Q. How long were you there?
10 A. I was there for about 10, 11 days.
11 Q. Were you in the white house for a couple of nights after that?
12 A. Yes, I spent two nights there.
13 Q. After that were you held on the upper floor of the hangar building?
14 A. Yes, in room No. 15, as it was called. This is where you enter,
15 roughly in this area.
16 Q. During the later period of your confinement in Omarska, did you stay
17 in a small room in the restaurant building and also for a short time
18 in the small garage?
19 A. Yes, I did, two days and two nights.
20 Q. You may be seated.
21 A. Thank you.
22 Q. Mr. Beganovic, how would you describe the general conditions of
23 Omarska camp?
24 A. The general conditions are indescribable. I have no words to describe
25 it. I do not know how to tell this to the honoured courtroom. Every
1 minute we were upset, we were beaten, psychologically abused, starved,
2 left without drink, without drinking, drinks -- simply it is
3 impossible to describe.
4 Q. When would beatings of prisoners occur? During what sorts of
5 activities by prisoners?
6 A. The worst was during the day they interrogated inmates in this
7 building upstairs from the restaurant. 99 per cent of the people came
8 back beaten up, and the nights were even more horrible. After their
9 hours, work hours, at 5 o'clock they stopped interrogating. Then
10 there were private visits by Serbian soldiers, guards, civilians.
11 Whoever wanted to go there, go in, did so and looked for inmates,
12 calling their names, surnames or nicknames. We were even taken by
13 people who had never met us before. We lay down on our stomachs in
14 the pista. They would simply come, "Give me two, give me three",
15 "Here, take five, if you like". Simply, people were lying on their
16 stomachs. Someone comes and kicks you, "Stand up, stand up, you and
17 you and you". I do not know that anyone came back, any of those
18 people came back.
19 Q. Were prisoners beaten on their way to the restaurant for their meal
20 and on their way to use the toilet when they were permitted to do so?
21 A. Yes, every day.
22 Q. Were you beaten on your way to the restaurant or on your way to use
23 the toilet?
24 A. Yes, regularly when I was in the group.
25 Q. Were you also called out for special beatings, that is, individual
1 beatings while you were in camp?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. On how many occasions?
4 A. Three times. However, the last couple of days in the camp I was
5 called out every hour or two because of the blackmail because I was
6 asked for money.
7 Q. Did Dule Tadic participate in one of the three beatings?
8 A. Yes. He did.
9 Q. Did you know who Dule Tadic was before the war?
10 A. Yes. I did.
11 Q. For how long before the war had you known who he was?
12 A. About 10 years.
13 Q. How did you happen to know him?
14 A. Well, by the force of circumstances. His arrival in Prijedor brought
15 him to the area where I had my restaurant. He was known to create
16 conflicts. He used to come with his karate people, so-called karate
17 people. They were usually beaten in Prijedor when they came, but still
18 they came.
19 Q. Did you know what area he lived?
20 A. Yes, I knew him from -- I knew that he was from Kozarac.
21 Q. Did you often go to Kozarac?
22 A. Yes. I did.
23 Q. Why was that?
24 A. Because I had friends, relatives.
25 Q. Would you go to cafes in Kozarac?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you also see Dule Tadic in Kozarac?
3 A. On several occasions, yes, in restaurants, in the streets. We did not
4 greet each other. We were not friends.
5 Q. Would you be with friends who did know him and who did greet him when
6 you passed in the street?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Over the 10 years that you mentioned, did you come to know who he was
9 and to be easily able to recognise him?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I would like to ask you some questions about the first two beatings
12 that you mentioned, the first two times you were called out specially
13 for beating. Did the first one take place during the period of time
14 that you were on the pista?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Where were you at the time you were called out?
17 A. Half an hour prior to that time they put us in the restaurant room.
18 It was bad weather and we were all put back into the restaurant room.
19 Q. Did you know the person who called you out?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you later find out who he was?
22 A. Later I did. Other inmates told me that his name was Dragan, that he
23 was a relative of Nedzo Delic, the well-known cafe owner, restaurant
24 owner. He owned the restaurant Europa in Omarska and another
25 restaurant called Europa II in Prijedor.
1 Q. How was Dragan dressed?
2 A. He was dressed in the grey olive uniform and he had a white military
3 policeman's belt. He had a pistol and he had police batons on each
4 side of his belt.
5 Q. What nationality was Dragan?
6 A. I heard in the camp that he was a Serb.
7 Q. After calling you out of the restaurant building, did Dragan first
8 take you to see someone whom you did know?
9 A. Yes, he took me out at this semicircle. Nikica Janjic was standing
11 Q. Had you had a conflict of some sort with Nikica Janjic before the war?
12 A. Yes, about a year and a half before the outbreak of the war, I had a
13 confrontation, I had a physical conflict with him.
14 Q. Did that occur on an evening when you broke up a fight between Janjic
15 and his girlfriend and then later intervened when he attacked one of
16 your employees?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What did Janjic tell you when you were brought to him?
19 A. He said, "See how times have changed? Tonight I am going to cut your
21 Q. After that did they bring you back to the restaurant building for a
22 short time?
23 A. Yes, they did bring me back for about half an hour.
24 Q. Then were you called out again?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Where were you taken?
2 A. I did not hear the question. They took me to the pista. At the exit
3 of the building Dragan started beating me with the baton on the head,
4 on the neck, on the back, the upper part of my back. He kept hitting
5 me in that area as we went to the white house.
6 Q. You were taken to the white house?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were other prisoners called out and taken to the white house at
9 approximately the same time?
10 A. Yes, I saw that I was followed by Terzic Sefik, Sefik Terzic, a
11 well-known hairdresser from Prijedor, nicknamed "Kiki". Then they
12 called out Asaf after me. Asaf was in the same restaurant where I
13 was. Then Rezak Hukanovic, nicknamed "Dzigi", the three of them and
15 Q. What was Rezak Hukanovic's occupation?
16 A. Rezak Hukanovic, he was a poet and an entertainment manager. Asaf
17 Kapetanovic was also a well-known businessman in Prijedor and a rich
19 Q. Is it fair to say that all three of these men were well-known and
20 successful people in Prijedor?
21 A. Yes, they were very well-known and successful.
22 Q. Were all three men Muslims?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where were you placed when you were taken to the white house?
25 A. I was placed in the second room on the right. The other three were
1 placed in the second room to the left, as far as I could assess.
2 Q. What happened when you were taken to the second room on the right?
3 A. They started beating me immediately, and Dragan and Nikica were the
4 only people there with me. The other Serbian soldiers were on the
5 other side where the other three were.
6 Q. What did Dragan and Nikica do to you in the white house?
7 A. They beat me, both of them. Dragan was hitting me with a baton.
8 Nikica kicked me. I do not remember whether he used an object,
9 whether he used an object to hit me, but he mostly kicked me. I tried
10 to protect myself as much as I could using my hands, but occasionally
11 I saw people coming from the other room. It was Saponja, the handball
12 player from Prijedor. He used to be my friend. His parents, their
13 wedding took place in my house, because they had just moved to
14 Prijedor, they had not found a dwelling place yet. So his father and
15 my father were very good friends. His mother borrowed my mother's
16 dress to get married in.
17 Others came in too, there was also the well-known murderer from
18 before the war Zigic and then Duca, Dusko Knezevic. They came in from
19 time to time carrying various objects. They also had some cables,
20 electric cables, and with a ball on top of it welded on to the cable.
21 I do not know how they made those devices, but they used these --
22 used everything that was available to beat us. But in this beating
23 Dragan and Nikica were the main individuals who beat us, the others
24 just came in from time to time to beat us.
25 Q. How long did the beating continue?
1 A. It was an eternity, as far as I was concerned, but maybe about half an
3 Q. At some point did they order you to lie down on the ground, on the
5 A. Yes. Dragan ordered me to lie down, to stretch out my arms, with my
6 stomach facing the floor, but we knew, the inmates knew, that in many
7 cases their spines were broken. I tried to resist not to lie down. I
8 told them to kill me. I said I did not want to lie down. I refused to
9 lie down.
10 Q. What happened after that?
11 A. At one point there was something like a desk and a chair. I do not
12 know how I found myself on that chair. As far as I remember, my left
13 arm, my left arm was on the desk and at one point Nikica took out a
14 knife about this size. I thought, because he had told me that he
15 would cut my throat, that he had taken the knife in order to cut my
16 throat. Almost automatically I started to lift my arm and I felt at
17 that moment that a knife stabbed my hand and I still had still have
18 the scar.
19 The blood spurred out of the wound, spurted. At that point I lost
20 consciousness and then I know that they took me out of that room. At
21 that point the other three friends of mine were coming out of the
22 other room and they took us out, out of the white house.
23 Q. While you were being beaten, could you tell what was happening to the
24 other prisoners who had been called out?
25 A. We just heard screams and moans. I was not interested in others. I
1 was in such a bad condition that I was not able to worry about others
2 because my own life was at risk.
3 Q. After the beating were you held in the white house?
4 A. They took us out and led us towards the pista, and at one point Zigic
5 said, told us to bend down and to drink the water next to the kerb
6 like dogs, and that we should behave like dogs and drink the water
7 like dogs. We drank the water which we were glad to do because my
8 throat was dry. At that moment those bad words had no meaning to me.
9 Q. After that were you returned to stay in the pista or were you taken
10 back to the white house?
11 A. After that the three of them were taken towards the pista, the
12 restaurant. I was ordered by Dragan to go back to the white house.
13 He started hitting me again on the way to the white house. He hit me
14 a couple of times and then he threw me into the first room to the
16 Q. Did you stay there for that night and the following night?
17 A. No, I stayed there that night until about 10.00 or 11.00 in the
18 morning. Then they returned us, a whole group of us -- there were
19 about 150 or 200 in the group -- to spend the night in the white
21 Q. During the time you were in the white house did a guard see you and
22 comment on your condition?
23 A. When I entered that room I saw there were about 10 or 12 young men in
24 civilian clothes. We knew already that the room was assigned for
25 so-called Muslim extremists who had attacked Prijedor, and we also
1 knew that nobody would come alive out of that room.
2 In the evening, about 8 or 9 o'clock, maybe 10.00, I cannot quite
3 remember, a guard came up to the window. Slavko Ecimovic was there in
4 prison, my friend from school and from childhood. He told him at one
5 moment, "You say you did not attack Prijedor, look, look in your
6 group, there is even a black man", and he had a flash light on and I
7 knew that it was trained at me. As far as I could move, because my
8 pain was horrible, I said, "I am not a black man. I have been here
9 for 12 days in the pista. I was on the pista mostly and they came
10 privately and beat me up". The man remained breathless and said, "Is
11 it possible?" He went around through the door. He crouched next to
12 me. He again directed his flash light at me. He said, "Mother
13 fuckers, is it possible to beat up a man like they beat you up?"
14 I saw that he was speaking, that he was honest about it. I said, I
15 asked him if he could help me to be transferred to the pista, to the
16 group that I belonged to because my life was at risk where I was, that
17 those young men had come after me and I have no connection with them.
18 He said that at that moment he could not promise anything, but he
19 would try to transfer me, which he did.
20 He came the following morning about 8.00 or 9.00 and visited me. I
21 think his name was a Radenko. He left. He said he did not know
22 nothing, he could not tell me anything that is concrete. So he came
23 about 10.00, at 11 o'clock in the morning, he took me out and led me
24 to the hangar. There were some wash basins there. He told me to
25 wash. There was a mirror there and then everything became clear to
1 me. I looked at myself in the mirror and I saw what I looked like.
2 Q. Mr. Beganovic, what was the condition of the other prisoners in the
3 white house?
4 A. Horrible, incredible, very similar to mine. There may have been worse
5 cases than me. People could not move mostly. There were people who
6 could not move a single centimetre without a moan.
7 Q. How long after you were transferred to room 15 was it before the
8 second beating occurred?
9 A. Maybe two days.
10 Q. Who called you out on that occasion?
11 A. Nikica Janjic.
12 Q. Where were you at the time?
13 A. That day they took us out of room No. 15, all of us, because of a list
14 that they were about to make. They were making some lists. We were
15 on the lawn between the white house and the red house.
16 Q. Where did Janjic take you?
17 A. To the white house.
18 Q. Was there any other Serb there?
19 A. Yes, there was a guard Commander, Kvocka, and a guard. I know his
20 nickname was Ckalja.
21 Q. Did you see any other Serbs there?
22 A. There were always guards. They were just hanging around. We were not
23 particularly interested to observe them.
24 Q. Was there any other Serb in the white house when Janjic took you
1 A. I was promised safety by Ckalja. It was really just a formality so
2 that I could be dragged into the white house, because I said, "This is
3 what they have done to me. The man wants to cut my throat". He says,
4 "I guarantee your safety. Go in and have a word with him". So I
5 knew that I had to go in, so I did.
6 A small, skinny soldier, about 160 metres tall, with a jacket
7 remained at the doorway with a bag, with a big bag on his back. It
8 looked funny with an automatic rifle, and Nikica started beating me at
9 the same moment. The other man was standing at the door to prevent me
10 from fleeing.
11 Q. How did Nikica Janjic beat you in the white house on that occasion?
12 A. At first he kicked me with his feet, then beat me with hands. Then he
13 took out his Colt pistol, and I always remembered what he told me, and
14 began to beat me with the pistol handle on the head. My head was all
15 swollen already, but he went on hitting me with that pistol and made
16 holes in my head. Perhaps it was a good for me because the blood had
17 already coagulated and was all so swollen, and perhaps all this
18 coagulated blood then came out from the body through those wounds he
19 inflicted at that moment. So perhaps that is how I can explain that
20 my skull did not burst.
21 Q. How long did that beating continue for?
22 A. It went on for a long time, 20 minutes perhaps. He was already
23 tired. He was sweating. His shirt was wet with sweat and he was
24 sweating all over. He was quite a big guy. So that at one point he
25 stopped beating me. I asked him to listen to me, to bear up with me
1 for a couple of minutes and then, if he wanted to, he could go on
2 beating me or just do me any or, at any rate, finish with me. To my
3 surprise, he agreed to talk to me.
4 Q. What did you tell him or what did he tell you during that discussion?
5 A. Well, I told him as regards that conflict that we had before, and that
6 I assumed the responsibility for it, yes, I had hit him, but now what
7 he had done on those two occasions I thought that was a sufficient tit
8 for tat and that I did not hold any grudges against him, not too much,
9 and that he should either kill me or let me be, and to make his
10 choice, to do what he wanted but, at any rate, to finish somehow with
12 So he thought for a while and said, "I will let you live. I will
13 not kill you". After that he started talking with me more and more.
14 I could not speak any more. I remember as I asked him to take me out,
15 but then he sent one of those lads who was standing with the automatic
16 in the doorway to go and bring some water. He did, and let me drink
18 I washed a little, that is, washed the blood off my face. He said
19 thank my mother because she told me not to kill you. She made me
20 swear that I would not kill you because you are an only son and she
21 had an only son, and she advised him in this way. Perhaps this had
22 taken the upper hand, this prevailed, and he did not kill me and he
23 kept his word and did not come again.
24 Q. After that did you continue to be held in room 15 and were you in room
25 15 when the third beating occurred?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How long after this second beating was it before the third beating
3 took place?
4 A. Well, that too about two days.
5 Q. About what time was it when you were called out?
6 A. It was late in the afternoon, maybe, around 6 o'clock.
7 Q. Did you see who called you out or just hear a voice?
8 A. I only heard a voice.
9 Q. Where was the voice coming from?
10 A. The voice came from the entrance, from the door of room No. 15.
11 Q. After being called out did you leave the room?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When you did what did you see?
14 A. I saw somewhere in the middle, halfway up the stairs Dragan standing.
15 Q. Mr. Beganovic, in a moment I am going to ask you to get up from the
16 chair and point out on the model -- if you can wait just a moment I
17 will have the roofs removed -- where you were when you were called
18 out, where room 15 was. If the roofs could be removed from the
19 models? Both roofs of the big building?
20 Mr. Beganovic, I do not know if the cameras will be able to pick
21 this up, but you will be able to read the numbers. If you can walk
22 over to the model and both point what room you were in and then tell
23 us what numbers are written there. You can remove your headphones
24 for that and then return to your seat. Can you point to room 15, the
25 area that comprised room 15?
1 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
2 Q. Are the numbers written on the floor of the area which comprised room
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Speaking loudly, can you tell us what those numbers are?
6 A. B7, 23.
7 THE INTERPRETER: We can barely hear the witness. I am sorry.
8 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Beganovic, if you can remember the numbers and turn to
9 the microphone immediately behind you, the interpreters will be able
10 to pick up what you are saying.
11 A. Repeat the numbers?
12 Q. Yes, can you repeat the numbers that are shown in room 15?
13 A. B23, B8, and three times B7.
14 Q. As you are looking at the model now, which way did you go to leave
15 room 15?
16 A. I was lying in this corner, then here, here were the wash basins and I
17 came out of this door.
18 Q. All right, and then went down the stairs?
19 A. Down the stairs.
20 Q. You can take your seat again, Mr. Beganovic. Thank you. Mr.
21 Beganovic, you said you saw Dragan; is that the same Dragan who had
22 been involved in beating you before?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How was he dressed on this occasion?
25 A. The same.
1 Q. Again the military uniform with the white belt?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did he say anything to you?
4 A. During those beatings when I was put in that room, one of the
5 detainees had bandaged my head with some white cloth. I do not know
6 what it was, a t-shirt or a shirt but, at any rate, it was a white rag
7 to stop the bleeding, and that cloth had stuck to my head and just
8 stayed there. I did not even try to remove it because it had all
9 hardened already with the blood. So that I came out with this to face
10 him, and he said, "What do you need that on your head for? You are
11 not a Hodza, you sell flowers", and I had nothing to tell him in
12 response. He told me to come down.
13 Q. When he said, "You are not a Hodza, he was mocking the bandage on your
14 head as if it was a turban?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you went down the steps what happened?
17 A. The moment I came down the stairs he started beating me, I think with
18 a baton again.
19 Q. Did he push you or direct you to any particular part of the hangar
21 A. He directed me towards the hangar, towards the inside of the hangar.
22 Q. That would be the ground floor of the hangar?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were other Serbs there waiting?
25 A. There was a group of soldiers wearing different kinds of clothes, but
1 they were all military uniforms.
2 Q. Approximately, how many in this group?
3 A. Well, I should say seven to 10.
4 Q. Was Dule Tadic a member of this group?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When you got to the group what did they do?
7 A. Well, I burst in among them and they simply at the same time started
8 beating me as usual, beating with different objects, mostly with the
9 feet, boots, those soldiers boots, also some sticks, some metal rods,
10 some metal cables, with all sorts of things.
11 Q. Was Dule Tadic one of those actively involved in hitting and kicking
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you remember what he was wearing on that occasion?
15 A. He had the multi-coloured military uniform.
16 Q. Do you remember whether he was clean shaven or had a beard?
17 A. Well, he looked unkempt, like all of them rather unkempt, untidy a
18 beard very untidy. He did not have a real beard.
19 Q. But he had some days growth of beard?
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. How long did the beating continue?
22 A. It went on between 20 minutes and half an hour.
23 Q. Did you lose consciousness during the beating?
24 A. In the hangar on the ground floor, no. I did upstairs when it was all
25 over and when I went up.
1 Q. Did you attempt to remain conscious during the beating for a
2 particular reason?
3 A. Yes, because I realised that if I fainted I would never wake up again
4 because they simply killed.
5 Q. As the beating continued where did you end up?
6 A. It ended, I ended up in the hall -- they were beating me and I fell
7 among some pillars, if I recollect, I think they were white and red as
8 if some markings to mark, to bind off a particular area where some
9 work goes on so one cannot enter that area. So I was among those
10 pillars somehow. I do not know how I got there. At one point I could
11 not, I was not even trying to come out from amongst those pillars and
12 then two came, approached me, I do not know who they were, I cannot
13 remember, and they got me by my feet and hung me up by a cord.
14 Q. What was this -- the translation says they hung you up by a cord.
15 What kind of a device was this?
16 A. I cannot really remember properly, whether it was plated but it was --
17 there was a canal nearby and I think that cord, that cable served to
18 lift some weight, some engines or something like that. Some large and
19 heavy object I think it served to lift those things up.
20 Q. How long were you hanging there by your feet upside-down?
21 A. I could not determine the time with any precision, but not long,
22 several minutes, one minute, two, three, I do not remember exactly.
23 At any rate at some point I felt that my feet had slid out and I fell
24 down and at that moment I remember Dragan approached me again and
25 asked if I knew who he was.
1 Q. What did you tell him?
2 A. I told him I did not know him, that I had never seen him in my life
3 before, that I did not know who he was.
4 Q. Why did you tell him you did not know who he was and that you had
5 never seen him before?
6 A. Well, because it was a fact in the camp, it was a common fact in the
7 camp that they never left alive those witnesses who might possibly
8 recognise those guards who killed and tortured. Simply, they left no
9 witnesses behind. I realised simply that it would be better for me to
10 say that I did not know him, and even had I known him before I would
11 have said that I did not.
12 Q. After you told Dragan you had never seen him before, what did he tell
14 A. He said, "Take this one upstairs and bring me Senad Muslimovic".
15 Q. Did you go upstairs?
16 A. Yes, I started upstairs. I reached the staircase. I did not even know
17 that I did not have my sneakers on, and at one point they said, "Go
18 back and fetch your sneakers." I said, "I don't need them", and Dragan
19 sort of said: "You want me to fetch them for you? Come here." So what
20 could I do? I had to go back and they started beating me again. How
21 I managed to bend down and pick up those sneakers I do not know but I
22 know I did. Then I climbed up the stairs and entered room 15, and
23 when I was there I made may way to that corner where my place was and
24 I fainted.
25 Q. Do you know how long you lost consciousness for?
1 A. I do not know how long I was unconscious, but from what my friends
2 told me, those who washed me with water that brought it from the wash
3 basin, several minutes, it was several minutes.
4 Q. When you regained conscious, could you tell whether other prisoners
5 were being beaten downstairs?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What were you able to hear?
8 A. I heard screams, screams that I had not known before. Until I arrived
9 in that camp I had never heard such cries, such screams. They were
10 human, but I could never imitate them. I remember I asked a friend
11 Rizah Salas who helped me throughout my stay in the camp and at a
12 point saved my life, if I was also letting out such screams, and he
13 said: "We heard you, no, not even remotely like that."
14 Q. Within the next couple of days did you find out who had been beaten
16 A. Could you repeat the question, please?
17 Q. Within the next couple of days after that did you learn who had been
18 beaten downstairs and whose screams you had heard?
19 A. Yes, we learnt, I think the next day, that it was my friend Jasko,
20 that Emir Karabasic was there who one day before had visited me in the
21 15 and then they had sent him to ask money from the inmates, to
22 collect some money, and probably that was how he had managed to enter
23 the room and reach me and be with me for a while and just patted me on
24 the head and said: "Take care of yourself, don't worry you will get
25 out", but he did not stay long. He went out.
1 Q. What was Jasko's last name?
2 A. Hrnic.
3 Q. Where were those men from?
4 A. Kozarac.
5 Q. Mr. Beganovic, what injuries did you receive from the beatings?
6 A. The injuries, they are both bodily and mental, but those physical
7 injuries are worse. I have fractures on my head, my head was all
8 pierced, was all in holes. My hand is injured. I cannot really use
9 it and I think it is even thinner than my right one. Then my spine is
10 hurt. My kidneys are injured, my leg.
11 Q. Did you receive medical care for your injuries in camp?
12 A. Well, only in so far as the prisoners could help me. You mean whether
13 I received any treatment after the camp?
14 Q. No, in Omarska itself.
15 A. Well, there was treatment amongst ourselves. We looked after one
16 another. Dr. Eso, because my nose was all to the right and Eso
17 managed to return it. How well he succeeded you can see for
19 Q. Did Dr. Sadikovic have medical supplies with which to treat you?
20 A. There were no medicines or any supplies. From time to time he would
21 go upstairs above the restaurant and there he tended, he looked after
22 the Serb soldiers who came back from the front, those who were
23 wounded, because people often inflicted wounds on themselves when
24 cleaning their weapons. So he did go upstairs to treat them and then
25 he would manage to get some pills or bandages and some powders. I
1 remember him bringing some phials, some bottles. I think he used
2 those powders to make something. He had one syringe and he used it
3 for everything.
4 Q. So Dr. Sadikovic received medical supplies to treat Serb soldiers and
5 smuggle whatever he could to help the Muslim prisoners who were
7 A. Yes, but it was very, very small quantities.
8 Q. Did your wounds become infected?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was the condition of your wounds?
11 A. The worst were head injuries, because that cloth, the bandage I had,
12 it was on my head for about a month and it was all rotting and there
13 were worms. Fortunately Dr. Eso noticed that and asked a guard to
14 take me out when I was in this room above the restaurant and there was
15 a water tap here, to go out and for about two days he kept begging me
16 to go out and I did not dare because I was afraid that one of them
17 would come and recognise me because there were rumours in the camp
18 that I had succumbed. But he eventually did prevail upon me and I
19 agreed. He said that I simply had to . So I agreed and he took
20 me out to that tap and there for about an hour he was wetting it and
21 managed to remove those bandages. There were worms in it. I did not
22 know that. I learned that the next day and that was why he put
23 pressure on me to wash it, I was to wash it off.
24 Q. Did other prisoners have worms and infected wounds?
25 A. Yes, quite a number of cases. There were guys who had wounds on their
1 backs or all over the body but, for instance, on the backs there were
2 some chaps where two or three litres of pus would simply spurt out on
3 the back. They had things like a balloon on their backs and it would
4 finally burst. So there were quite a number of people who were still
5 alive and yet from whom worms were coming out.
6 Q. Now you have mentioned Dr. Sadikovic on several occasions, both in
7 connection with his efforts with the League for Peace and in the ways
8 he attempted to treat Muslim prisoners. What happened to Dr.
9 Sadikovic in Omarska?
10 A. Until 5th August he was with us all the time in this room above the
11 restaurant where we stayed in this small room with 20 or 25 of us. On
12 5th August he was taken out, perhaps around 11 o'clock in the evening,
13 it was night time, and before that at least on two occasions he had
14 been taken out and brought back and he was told to take his things
15 with him, although he had nothing. We had said goodbye to him on two
16 occasions, and on the third occasion when he was called out he turned
17 and said to us, "Fuck you all". That is what he told us, jokingly.
18 Q. Did you ever see or hear of Dr. Sadikovic again?
19 A. When I came out from the camp in '93, in March, I heard from a
20 relative, from Azo's relative that she had heard from three sides and
21 from different Serb soldiers that he had been in the camp at Ric near
22 Bihac and that he had personally treated them. However, after that I
23 could not learn anything, even though I keep on enquiring but to no
25 Q. Mr. Beganovic, can you look and tell us if Dule Tadic is in court
2 A. Yes, he is, Serb garbage.
3 Q. Sir, please refrain from that language, if you would, and can you
4 point out -- I know you pointed ----
5 A. I apologise to your Lordships. I could not stop myself.
6 Q. You have pointed to where he is sitting. Can you just tell us what he
7 is wearing, please, or exactly where he is sitting?
8 A. He is sitting in the back row in the middle. He has a dark red tie.
9 Q. Your Honour, may the record reflect the identification of the accused?
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, the record will so reflect the identification
11 of the accused by the witness.
12 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Beganovic, are you absolutely certain that this is the
13 man who participated in the beating of you which took place on the
14 hangar floor?
15 A. Absolutely.
16 MR. TIEGER: Thank you. I have nothing further.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have cross-examination, Mr. Kay?
18 MR. KAY: Yes, I do your Honour.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will recess early. We will stand in recess until
20 2.30, please.
21 (1.00 p.m.).
22 (Luncheon Adjournment)
23 (2.30 p.m.) PRIVATE
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay, cross-examination?
25 MR. KAY: Thank you, your Honour.
1 Cross-Examined by MR. KAY
2 Q. Mr. Beganovic, from what you have told us, it seems that these three
3 serious beatings that you suffered occurred within the period of a
4 week, is that right?
5 A. Roughly.
6 Q. The first beating was largely the responsibility of Dragan, is that
8 A. And Nikica Janjic.
9 Q. And Nikica Janjic?
10 A. Janjic.
11 Q. And Dragan's other name is what?
12 A. I do not know any other name.
13 Q. Would it be Dragan Vujic or something beginning with the letter "V"?
14 Can you remember?
15 A. I have heard something about it in the camp, but that does not seem
16 to be true. There seems to be another surname.
17 Q. Right. The reason why I put that to you is from the statement that
18 you gave to the Prosecution. You gave, if you may remember, a number
19 of names for Dragan that began with "V", is that right?
20 A. Yes, but then I pointed out that I was not sure ---
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. -- what was involved.
23 Q. Yes, does it seem to be that it was your impression it could have
24 been a name beginning with "V"?
25 A. I am not sure. That was just guessing by inmates, but the fact is
1 that he is related to Nedzo Delic, that he had worked for him that he
2 had worked in the restaurant in Omarska, in Europa, and the other
3 Europa in Prijedor.
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. His identity is easy to establish.
6 Q. Yes. The second beating that took place upon you, again Nikica
7 Janjic was involved, is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was Dragan involved in that as well?
10 A. Not in the second beating.
11 Q. Thank you. The third beating that took place took place in the large
12 building before you on that model which we call the hangar, is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You had been recovering from those previous beatings in a room that
16 you have identified by calling room 15?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I was unable to see from here, but I believe you pointed to a fairly
19 large room in the middle of the model on the first floor, is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. You had been in that room for how many days before the
23 third beating took place?
24 A. About five or six days.
25 Q. Presumably, in that period of time you were in an appalling physical
1 state with bad and serious injuries to your body?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And with no medical treatment to restore you and relieve pain?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Were there a number of other men in that room in a similar condition
6 at that time?
7 A. Yes, there was a large number of injured people. I cannot tell you
8 for sure how many because I was in a corner, but I know that there
9 were many such people similar to me, beaten up.
10 Q. That room that you were in, room 15, were there many people also
11 confined into that space?
12 A. Yes, several hundred people, maybe 300.
13 Q. Presumably as well, many of them were suffering the same bad
14 conditions in relation to their eating, sanitation and drinking that
15 you had experienced? Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. This is something that you would never have experienced in your life
19 A. Normally.
20 Q. Something that probably drove you to the limit of your endurance?
21 A. Yes, I was at the limit of my endurance.
22 Q. The position that you were being kept within in this room,
23 presumably, suffered from lack of ventilation and would have been a
24 room that was baking in the sun because of the weather at the time,
25 would that be right?
1 A. How can you bake in the sun in a closed room?
2 Q. We heard from one witness about the outside temperature being so hot
3 that the rooms in that building because of the tin roof had an almost
4 oven effect and caused the conditions to be very hot.
5 A. It was hot, yes.
6 Q. On the occasion of the third beating, you were still in room 15?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Had you had much opportunity to obtain food during the period of the
9 previous week?
10 A. I did not go out to eat. I ate what I was given by my friends, a
11 piece of bread in their pockets. That is all I ate.
12 Q. Presumably, that was to avoid further contact with guards as well as
13 because of your strength, would that be right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You have described being in a corner of room 15. Would that have
16 been a corner furthest from the door which you indicated on the model
17 was the door how you actually entered the room, or was it a corner
18 nearer the door?
19 A. I was in the right-hand corner and the left-hand corner was further
20 away from the door than the right-hand corner.
21 Q. Was it the opposite end of the room though to the door?
22 A. As you enter the main door, you pass the first part of the room. On
23 the one side there are showers, on the other side wash basins. You go
24 into this part of the room. I was lying on the right-hand side in the
25 corner. So the left-hand corner is further away than the right-hand
2 Q. I think that gives us an indication as to where you were. You said
3 that it was later in the afternoon around 6 o'clock that you heard a
4 voice from the entrance to the door. Did that voice call your name?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you then go down the room to the door to see the person who
7 called your name?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was that Nikica or another guard or someone else? Can you tell us
10 who that was?
11 A. It was Dragan, the one we talked about a while ago.
12 Q. Dragan was standing there, and was he on his own or with anyone else?
13 A. On his own.
14 Q. Then did he take you down the stairs to the ground floor of the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did he tell you at all what was going to happen, why he had called
18 your name?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you have any feelings in your own mind as to why he called your
21 name then?
22 A. Since I had experienced -- I had experience with him, I knew what to
23 expect roughly, but I prayed to God that he would kill me so that I
24 would not be tortured any more.
25 Q. Can you remember when abouts during your stay in Omarska this was?
1 A. In the middle of June. I cannot be sure of two or three days, but
2 that is the time.
3 Q. Of course not. I understand it would seem from what you are saying
4 if it was in the middle of June that you may have been in the camp for
5 some two-and-a-half weeks by then, would that be right?
6 A. Yes, about two weeks.
7 Q. When you left that room and went down the stairs with Dragan and you
8 said that he was the only guard there, were there other guards,
9 nothing to do with this incident, around on the stairs or nearby as
10 you went down?
11 A. As I went down, there was nobody, but when he told me to go towards
12 the hangar I saw the group in the hangar, I saw the group which would
13 torture me later on.
14 Q. You have referred there to the hangar. We know that this was a
15 mining complex and we know what this building was used for when it was
16 working as a mine. Can you tell us what was actually in the hangar at
17 this time?
18 A. There were some parts of probably dump trucks, lorries. I think there
19 was a dump truck further down on the left-hand side as you enter the
20 hangar, left of the canal. It was not important to me at the time
21 what was there. The only thing I was concerned with was the criminals
22 when I entered.
23 Q. Was it used at all at this time for the holding of any of the
24 prisoners within Omarska?
25 A. Which area do you have in mind?
1 Q. I ask this because we have heard evidence that at some stage, I do
2 not know when, the prisoners were kept in an area of this hangar, and
3 what I am asking you is if at that time when you went down whether
4 that was the case then?
5 A. True, but at that time there had not been -- by that time there had
6 not been any inmates in the hangar.
7 Q. So what appears to have been within it was equipment connected with
8 lorries and the use of those lorries, is that right?
9 A. About that, yes.
10 Q. When you went into the hangar, you have described what you say is the
11 group of criminals. How many people did you see there in this group?
12 A. I did not get round to counting them, but there were between seven
13 and 10.
14 Q. Dragan had brought you down from the upstairs of the building. Did
15 you have to walk with any help or what was your physical condition in
16 relation to how you could move at that time?
17 A. I was still able to stand on my feet.
18 Q. Would it be fair to say that that would have been though with quite a
19 degree of pain and discomfort?
20 A. Of course.
21 Q. Yes. Those various beatings that you had received on those other two
22 occasions had been beatings, from what you have told us, over the
23 whole of your body?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You described the group of men as wearing different kinds of clothes,
1 but that they were all military uniforms?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Are you able to tell us what different kinds of military uniforms
4 those clothes would have been?
5 A. Some of them wore multi-coloured uniforms, we called them
6 multi-colours, and others had grey olive uniforms of the former JNA.
7 Q. When you say "multi-coloured uniforms", is that camouflage uniforms?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did any of them wear berets, hats of any kind?
10 A. They did, but at that time it did not make any difference whether he
11 had a hat on or not. We were not interested in that at all.
12 Q. I am just asking you this to get an idea of the various kinds of
13 clothing that were being worn. Can you remember any particular kinds
14 of hats or berets, if there were any?
15 A. They had hats, caps. They dressed as they pleased. They did not
16 look like an army. It looked like a band of wanton people. We could
17 see from the start that there was no commanding hierarchy, no army,
18 no men.
19 Q. Would it be right to say that Dragan was the person who was in charge
20 of you?
21 A. That was my impression, yes.
22 Q. He had a military uniform, you said, with a white belt?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did any of the others have a similar colour belt?
25 A. I cannot remember at this time, nor did I try very hard to observe
1 that. I was -- I did not believe that I would come out of the camp
2 and especially that a day would come that I could testify to being
3 there. If I had been aware of that, I would have remembered and
4 observed more.
5 Q. I understand that, and do not take any of these questions as being a
6 criticism of you. I am asking them as part of my job, you understand?
7 Can you remember the kind of footwear perhaps that was being worn,
8 whether they were boots or other form of ----
9 A. Mostly military boots.
10 Q. By that do you mean the black military boot?
11 A. Yes, the military boot of the former JNA.
12 Q. Yes. Did you see any weapons there amongst the men, and by that I
13 mean guns or rifles or machine guns?
14 A. They mostly wore automatic weapons and pistols.
15 Q. When you say "wore" automatic weapons, do you mean they had them with
16 them or they were actually on their bodies in some way?
17 A. Mostly had them in their hands.
18 Q. When you were down there with these men, did you notice if there were
19 any other prisoners that you could see within the hangar?
20 A. While I was there I did not notice any.
21 Q. Were you the focus of attention of the group? They were not doing
22 anything to anyone else, was it just you?
23 A. I did not notice that. I did not notice anybody else.
24 Q. This room, the hangar, was it lit at all? What were the lighting
25 conditions within it?
1 A. I did not see any lighting. It was still daylight.
2 Q. Yes. We can see on that model that there are what I would call
3 roller doors -- I do not know if that translates -- but shutters that
4 go up and down, were they up or down?
5 A. I did not notice those things.
6 Q. Fine. Within that group when you gave evidence this morning you said
7 that Dule Tadic was a member of that group?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you name any of the other people who made up that group?
10 A. There was another guy who in the first time I was beaten stood in the
11 doorway holding an automatic rifle in his hands so that I would not
12 escape through the door, I noticed him; that Dusko and there was
13 Dragan, others, I did not really notice them except those I knew, but
14 I had the impression that all the guards were there. Guards who were
15 on duty there, I did not notice them.
16 Q. The one you referred to as also being present the first time you were
17 beaten who was in the door with his rifle to stop you escaping, did
18 you know his name at all?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Was he a guard at the camp?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Were there any guards there from the camp in the hangar at that
24 A. No, and they would mostly be admitted in, the guards would stay
25 outside and then they indulged in orgies with us.
1 Q. Because Dragan whom you have mentioned, was he actually a guard at
2 the camp?
3 A. No.
4 Q. You were taken into that hangar by Dragan. You told us that he
5 started hitting you with a baton as you were going down the steps.
6 Was that the first series of blows on this occasion that you felt?
7 A. Yes, he began beating me as I was coming down the stairs when he
8 directed me towards the hangar. That is when he started dealing
10 Q. He was giving this treatment to you and it was coming upon injuries
11 that you had already suffered?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When you got to the bottom of the stairs, how did you get into the
15 A. On my feet.
16 Q. I perhaps did not ask that very clearly but there are big doors, are
17 there not, with glass in them, am I right about that?
18 A. There was a glass door.
19 Q. Yes. Did you have to open that yourself or did he open it for you
20 and let you through?
21 A. I believe it was open. Yes, it was open.
22 Q. You entered the hangar. Did he continue beating you?
23 A. Yes, towards that group and then the group took over.
24 Q. The group, you have identified them as a group which implies that
25 they were very much together in close proximity, would that be right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. As you entered the doors, whereabouts exactly were the group
3 positioned, can you remember how far from the doors?
4 A. Oh, a couple of metres inside the hangar, about halfway in the middle
5 of the hangar.
6 Q. Right. There are some canals that we know of within this hangar,
7 maybe three or four. Do you know what I am talking about when I refer
8 to them? I did not hear any translation.
9 THE INTERPRETER: There was none.
10 MR. KAY: Do you know what I am talking about when I refer to the canals
11 within the hangar?
12 A. Canals to repair dump trucks ---
13 Q. That is right.
14 A. -- and lorries and things.
15 Q. Get underneath them, go into a sort of a pit. Do you know what I am
16 talking about within that hangar? Did you see those?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. Are you able to see in relation to those pits whereabouts the men
19 were? Were they on that side or a different part of the hangar?
20 A. In that half beyond the canals.
21 Q. Yes. Dragan, presumably, was the man who forced you towards them or
22 did they come to meet you?
23 A. I went towards them.
24 Q. Did anyone talk to you or did the beating just start?
25 A. They were not saying anything. They were simply cursing. During all
1 those beatings always there were no conversations of any kind. They
2 would curse at you because you were a Muslim and they would hit you.
3 I mean, there was no conversation there. They would not let you. All
4 they cared about, how to hit you in the most vulnerable spot, no
5 talking. Just curses and noise, that is all.
6 Q. From the way you describe it, it would be right to say that it was
7 the whole group that was involved in attacking you?
8 A. Well, the whole group, some probably hit me more times, sometimes
9 less, but I had no time to count how many times who each of them hit
11 Q. Again when you came into that hangar, as you have told us, you were
12 on your feet, you were walking, but you were being hit by Dragan, is
13 that right?
14 A. It is.
15 Q. Was he behind you hitting you or to the side or front hitting you?
16 Can you tell us whereabouts he was?
17 A. Behind me.
18 Q. He was hitting you on your back, presumably? Was it on the back of
19 your head?
20 A. Yes, the neck, head, shoulders -- that is where he hit me most.
21 Q. You yourself had a bandaged head because of the appalling head
22 injuries you had suffered the time of the previous beatings, is that
24 A. It is.
25 Q. The distance that he hit you towards this group was how much, are you
1 able to tell us?
2 A. Five or six metres, perhaps 10, I do not know. Five or six metres.
3 Q. Did the group immediately start hitting you like Dragan was doing? I
4 will repeat the question because I do not think there is a translation
5 for the witness. Did the group start hitting you like Dragan had been
7 A. Why, they beat me, Dragan used only batons and they used their rifle
8 butts, feet, rods, but basically with their feet. Those karateists,
9 they were the ones, perhaps they were doing their exercises --
10 training with me.
11 Q. Presumably, you would have been kicked or hit to the ground?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You did not remain on your feet?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The length of time that this continued for, are you able to tell us
16 in any way?
17 A. Well, about 20 minutes, 15, 20 -- it looked like eternity to me.
18 Q. What I want to ask you about is Dusko Tadic, when you first say that
19 you came to know of him and his name. When do you say you first came
20 across him, if you like?
21 A. I knew of his existence. I have known it for some 10 years. As I
22 have already said, I knew him from sight. I knew that he was Dule. I
23 did not know his full name, but I knew he was Dule. I knew his family
24 name was Tadic, that he lived in Kozarac and that he was practising
25 karate and coaching karate. I knew he was no good, that he was a
1 trouble maker. He used to come to Prijedor on the street where my
2 business was, and there he was beaten once by Remzo, Cero and those
3 friends of mine. I knew all that went on in that street, since my
4 coffee bar was the best known and the most popular in Prijedor and
5 very many young people came there, so that I know him, you see. For
6 10 years I have known who he was, what he was, where he came from.
7 Q. So you are talking about being aware of him, is that right, for some
8 10 years?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Thank you. If you answer the question because there has to be a
11 translation. When you say you saw him in the hangar on that occasion
12 when you received the third beating, are you able to describe what he
13 looked like?
14 A. Well, to my mind, like everybody else when he was wearing a military
15 uniform. I remember that, simply I recognised him immediately.
16 Q. When you say you recognised him, was there anything about his
17 appearance that you could describe how he looked?
18 A. I have just said briefly, he was not alone so that I would look at
19 him only. I was looking at them, at that group of seven or 10 people,
20 so that he was the only one whose name I knew from that group.
21 Dragan's name I learnt in the camp and that other one who took part in
22 former beatings, I still do not know his name to this day, so it is
23 quite natural that his name stuck in my mind. But before that, I have
24 never had any trouble with him before. At that time I was not as
25 scared of him as thinking of Dragan and what Dragan was going to do to
1 me. I believe he could not recognise me because from the previous
2 beating, my mine, my face was all disshaped, misshapen, and when the
3 one upstairs had called out my name, I guess that he did not have the
4 faintest idea who they were talking about.
5 Q. You rightly say that you were not concentrating on one person because
6 what was happening to you involved the whole group of seven or 10,
7 that is right, is it not?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. You were not being politely taken into this room by Dragan; you were
10 being hit by him from behind?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. From what had happened to you in those previous days, you were not in
13 your normal physical condition, that is right, is it not?
14 A. Physically, no, naturally, but mentally I was well enough to notice
15 that Dule Tadic was there and that he was practising some blows on me.
16 More him, I cannot even remember those other faces because they meant
17 nothing to me. I did not recognise anyone of them. They must have
18 been the population from Omarska and perhaps other villages there who
19 never came down, so I could not know them nor could they know me.
20 Q. When you say that you recollected Dule Tadic because the name stuck
21 in your mind, it is right to say that you have talked about things
22 with other people when you were in the camp then as well as in
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Excuse me.
25 MR. TIEGER: I would like to object to a mischaracterisation of the
1 evidence. The witness did not say he recollected Dule Tadic because
2 of the name. He said that he recognised him for that reason and did
3 not know the other names, and so it is natural that he would remember
4 Mr. Tadic. Counsel is building in a mischaracterisation into that
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is how I recall the testimony. I suppose we
7 could have it turned back.
8 MR. KAY: I apologise and I am sure the Court will allow me to start again
9 and put whatever I should put correctly. You say that the name stuck
10 in your mind, is that right?
11 A. The face features.
12 Q. When you say the face and features, had the face or features changed
13 in any way from how you had seen Dusko Tadic from before?
14 A. At that time they had not changed at all. They are changed now.
15 Q. So the person who was hitting you then had a look, an appearance, as
16 you say it was Dusko Tadic, he had not changed in his appearance from
17 when you had known him from before, is that right?
18 A. It was him, I was not having any halucinations. I did not have to
19 think any. I am positive. I was quite sure it was him.
20 Q. You see, what I suggest to you is that, in fact, what was happening
21 to you was so extreme that it was difficult for you to accurately
22 recognise Dusko Tadic and be right about it, do you understand?
23 A. I was strong enough to recognise him, to know that it was he and not
24 forced to think whether it was he or not and that I made a mistake.
25 Q. You refer to your mental state, but you had suffered appalling
1 deprivation in that time in Omarska in terms of your health, physical
2 condition, is that not right?
3 A. That is right, but I was, I still had enough of my wits about to know
4 that it was he, that I could not make a mistake.
5 Q. Because what I am putting to you is this, that in fact it was someone
6 who looked like him but it was not him?
7 A. No, it was he.
8 Q. This name is something that you have picked up because others were
9 talking about it in the camp?
10 A. Why should I? I knew him more than those other people. There was
11 nothing -- they could hear it from me, not I from them.
12 Q. You have never had a conversation with Dusko Tadic, is that right?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You have never sat at a table with Dusko Tadic, is that right?
15 A. Yes, in a coffee, in the coffee bar just, but not together because we
16 had no reason to strike any friendships even before the war.
17 Q. Do you know Miso Danicic?
18 A. I do not know that surname.
19 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no further questions.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, any redirect?
21 MR. TIEGER: No, your Honour.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to -- I am sorry.
23 JUDGE STEPHEN: Witness, I have one question to ask you. Did alcohol play
24 any part in the camp as far as the guards were concerned or those who
25 came in and beat you? Did they seem to be drunk or not?
1 A. Oh, yes, alcohol played a tremendous role there. They were almost
2 all drunk and regularly, day in, day out, and we were blackmailed.
3 They would take a man, put a pistol in his mouth and say, "Get me
4 1,000 marks in", I do not know, "within 15 or 20 minutes or we will
5 kill him", and of course we had to find that money, whether we knew
6 the man or not. I mean, those who managed somehow to bring the money
7 in, we collected 10 marks, 15 marks, it depended, but towards the end
8 we stopped giving it because we knew that they were going to kill us
9 all, so we thought, "What is the use? He will only suffer more so let
10 them", and then they became even stricter. They were requesting, I do
11 not know, 230 marks and then they dropped the price to a crate of beer
12 because they simply could not do without beer or drink.
13 Q. Did the guards have a meeting room, a common room, where they drank
14 or did you see them drink or do you know anything of how they ate?
15 Where did they eat, for instance, the guards?
16 A. They do not know it -- yes, while I was in this room behind the
17 restaurant, here where this tap is, there was a van and the door of
18 this van was always open, the rear door could always be open, and
19 there was a machine gun directed at this door through which we entered
20 behind the tap, and they drank there non-stop bottles of brandy, of
21 cognac, crates of beer. What they ate? What do I know what those scum
22 ate -- pork, must be.
23 Q. One other question, you spent some time on the pista in the open air?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Of a night would you sleep on the pista or were you always taken into
1 the so-called restaurant at night?
2 A. The first four or five days I spent nights on the pista. There was a
3 machine gun positioned up here on this roof, and in the evening it was
4 sighted on us, it was aimed at us, and after some five or six days
5 there was a shower so that they would not get soaked and better to
6 keep us under control, they forced us into the restaurant. We would
7 spend the night there until the day break, and at day break they would
8 force us out into the pista. On the pista there were those puddles of
9 water after the rain, but who cared? Each one had to take his place,
10 whether wet or dry, and lie down again.
11 Q. The last question I wanted to ask you is I take it the pista was
12 floodlit at night?
13 A. It was lit around it, not where we were. As far as I can remember,
14 there were some lights here and there, but they had a good view.
15 There was a wall here and there was this machine gun. Joja, one of
16 those, I do not know who he is, and he always kept it aimed at us, so
17 we had no chance, not even a theoretical chance, to attempt an escape
18 or a rebellion or something because I think it would not take a minute
19 to kill us all and sometimes we were 700 or 600, 800 of us, so that we
20 had no chance whatsoever.
21 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, do you have additional questions?
23 MR. TIEGER: No, your Honour.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay?
25 MR. KAY: No, thank you, your Honour.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection to Mr. Beganovic being
2 permanently excused?
3 MR. KAY: No, your Honour.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Beganovic, you are permanently excused. You are
5 free to leave. Thank you for coming.
6 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I wish to thank your Lordships. I am glad that
7 I did. I hope I helped you. I tried to as much as I could. Thank
9 (The witness withdrew)
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Niemann, who will your next witness be? Mr.
11 Tieger, you will call the next witness.
12 MR. TIEGER: Yes, your Honour, the next witness is Senad Muslimovic.
13 SENAD MUSLIMOVIC, called.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Would you take the oath that is being handed to you,
16 THE WITNESS [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
17 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
18 (The witness was sworn)
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, sir. Would you be seated?
20 Examined by MR. TIEGER
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. Sir, what is your name?
23 A. Senad Muslimovic.
24 Q. Mr. Muslimovic, you may want to move a little bit away from the
25 microphone when you speak. What year were you born?
1 A. In 1963.
2 Q. Where were you born?
3 A. Prijedor.
4 Q. Were you also raised in Prijedor?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What is your nationality?
7 A. Muslim.
8 Q. Did you serve in the JNA?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When was that?
11 A. I think in 1981.
12 Q. Before the war exactly where in Prijedor did you live, not the
13 address but what part of town?
14 A. An area that boarded on the centre of the city called Puharska.
15 Q. Mr. Muslimovic, is it correct that you come from a rather well-known
16 family in Bosnia, in particular, because of your brother's success in
17 the music business?
18 A. I hope that that was the case. I think that is so.
19 Q. Your brother is a very popular and well-known folk singer in Bosnia,
20 is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You worked in the music business with him and worked together with
23 him when he toured?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. In fact, you spent a great deal of time outside of Prijedor as a
1 result of your work?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Prior to the tensions which preceded the actual conflict in Prijedor
4 and in Bosnia, did people in Prijedor tend to distinguish between who
5 was Muslim and who was Serb?
6 A. I personally did not. I think others were not able to do so either.
7 Q. Did you have Serb friends?
8 A. I had many more Serbian friends than if I can say Muslim friends.
9 Q. Was that in part of because of the nature of your work?
10 A. I would not be able to tell you exactly. I had such friends, that
11 happens to be the case. I had those friends and I was fond of them.
12 Q. Was it possible to distinguish between a Muslim and a Serb based on
13 their physical appearance, based on their face?
14 A. It is impossible for me. Maybe someone in the world might do that
15 but I could not. I could never do that.
16 Q. In addition to your work in the music business, did you also have
17 your own grocery business in Prijedor before the war?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. As a result of the tensions which occurred before the conflict
20 actually began, did you send your wife and children away to Slovenia
21 for safety at some point before May?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were you yourself in Prijedor when the cleansing of Prijedor town
24 began on May 30th?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Were you seized or arrested the following day?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Had you seen what happened to your home before that, before you were
5 A. Yes, certainly.
6 Q. What had happened to it, sir?
7 A. I watched everything from the part of a town which was opposite my
8 house and called Percani. I was staying with a friend called Dzevad
9 Deomic. I was in his bedroom watching. There were fires here and
10 there in the area of Puharska. At one point from one part of a road
11 down from my house, a tank came out and started moving in the
12 direction of Banja Luka. That is the easiest explanation, if I say in
13 the direction of Banja Luka, because the road connected Bosanski Novi
14 and Banja Luka. They passed my house. I would not be able to tell you
15 how many metres, but I know that they crossed the bridge next to my
16 house. Then they came back and then they trained the barrel towards
17 my house and fired at it. That is all.
18 Q. May we call up on the monitor Z5-35? Looking at the monitor, Mr.
19 Muslimovic, do you recognise what is shown on it?
20 A. Certainly that is my house when it was, the way it looked when it was
21 built about 10 or 12 years ago. During the war it was even bigger and
22 more beautiful. It was my family house which belongs to my father, to
23 my brother, to my mother. We lived there together.
24 Q. It included the entire structure shown in the picture in addition to
25 a portion which had not yet been built at the time this picture was
2 A. I did not understand the question, would you please repeat it?
3 Q. Your family house consisted of the entire structure shown in this
4 picture, is that right?
5 A. Yes, but 10 years ago, maybe even longer than that, but just before
6 the war it was much bigger and more beautiful.
7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender that in I am not quite sure what
8 form we can do so. I would actually like to return the actual
9 photograph to the witness, if possible, so if it is technically
10 feasible to capture an image of what is on the screen now or certainly
11 a photographic copy.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Take it wherever it is, retrieve it and make a copy
13 of it. What Exhibit number will this be then so that we have a hard
15 MR. TIEGER: Exhibit 253, your Honour.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection to 253?
17 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK. 253 will be admitted.
19 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, Miss Sutherland suggests that perhaps we could
20 make this 253A and the following photograph can be 253B.
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 253A.
22 MR. TIEGER: Can we also now call up on the monitor Z5-34?
23 (To the witness): Mr. Muslimovic, do you recognise this picture and is
24 this a picture of your home after the conflict?
25 A. Certainly.
1 MR. TIEGER: I would tender this, your Honour.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
3 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 253B will be admitted.
5 MR. TIEGER: Thank you. (To the witness): Mr. Muslimovic, after you were
6 arrested or seized on May 31st where were you first taken?
7 A. I was taken to the police station in Prijedor.
8 Q. Were you struck or beaten when you were being transported to the
9 police station?
10 A. Yes, of course.
11 Q. When you arrived was there a group or cordon of Serbian police
12 waiting who also beat you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. While you were at the SUP was there an attempt or a threat of an
16 A. Not every day but every other day.
17 Q. On the day you were taken to the SUP, were you lined up for execution
18 at some point?
19 A. Correct. Yes.
20 Q. Where were you lined up?
21 A. I was lined up in the courtyard, if I can call it, of the SUP behind
22 the main entrance on the other side next to the wall. On the
23 left-hand side, there was a door. That is where I was put together
24 for the act that they had planned to carry out.
25 Q. You said you were on the other side next to a wall, what was the
1 condition of that wall?
2 A. It was smeared with blood and there were pot marks that looked like
3 bullet scars, but at that moment nobody paid enough attention to
4 decide 100 per cent what sort of hole it was. When I was placed
5 there, the only thing, the only things I could see was the blood and
6 the holes.
7 Q. What occurred to stop the execution?
8 A. For a split moment, after a very short moment, from the main room of
9 the SUP building a gentleman who was a stranger to me came out. I can
10 call him a gentleman. He said that this cannot happen, that we are
11 loyal citizens of that town and nobody can do us any harm. But,
12 however, it went on for a certain time and he placed some people to
13 watch me like nothing would happen, but it lasted only the time,
14 during the time that he was in the doorway. As soon as he went back,
15 we were beaten again, not as badly as later, but there were blows on
16 the head with the rifle, just beating, until a situation materialised
17 in which I was saved. They usually beat people until someone came
18 along who did not like his friend to be beaten without any reason.
19 That is all.
20 Q. After you were held in the SUP, where were you taken?
21 A. After the incident in the courtyard (which seemed very long to me,
22 like a year although it must have been short), we were taken to a room
23 and then from that room we were taken again to the courtyard, if I can
24 call it that, where we were delivered many, many blows on all sides.
25 You could not observe who was doing it. We had to bow down and
1 protect our head as much as possible.
2 We were lined up there, there might have been five, six or
3 seven. I did not look around very much in front of me or around me.
4 I did not have enough courage to do so. There was also alternative
5 beating until they took us to the room, the room, to the premises of
6 the main SUP. If we passed a soldier, that soldier would hit you with
7 a rifle or kick you or you would just get a slap in the face. We went
8 through the SUP, went out. We were thrown, not taken, into the bus,
9 we were thrown on to a bus, which already had people on it. That is
11 Q. Did that bus take you to Keraterm?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Approximately, how long were you held in Keraterm?
14 A. Would you please repeat the question? How long? Is it a question
15 about my time in Keraterm or the time the trip took?
16 Q. No, your time in Keraterm, how long were you actually held in
18 A. I think about -- a day lasted as long as a year, sometimes it was
19 faster and very slow, but I think seven or 10 days, but I would not
20 say -- I do not think it was 10 days.
21 Q. In what part of Keraterm were you held?
22 A. Still dark that night, we were chased out of the bus and put in the
23 first room which was located at the corner of the building. I do not
24 know what the purpose of the room was, but it was at the corner
1 Q. During the time you were held in Keraterm were prisoners called from
2 your room at night?
3 A. Yes, they were.
4 Q. Were you able to hear what was happening to them?
5 A. Yes, I was able to hear, yes. It was not small things when you hear
6 a man screaming, yelling, howling, roaring, it is hard to imitate that
7 under normal conditions. That is what I heard, screams, shrieks,
8 moans. That is all.
9 Q. Did all the prisoners who were called from the room return?
10 A. Generally, it is hard to say what number, you always expect to be the
11 next one so you do not think about numbers. Generally, there were more
12 people called out than those who returned.
13 Q. What was the condition of those who returned?
14 A. You know, from our point of view, they looked like they had been
15 wounded. Sometimes they looked like walking corpses. It seems
16 impossible, but that is what they looked like.
17 Q. While you were in Keraterm were you called out for interrogation?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What kinds of questions were you asked during the interrogation?
20 A. How should I tell you? The first question was, "Where is your money?
21 Where did you hide your money? Where are your weapons? Why did you
22 help any of the Parties?" But, however, I have never been a member of
23 any political party. "How much money did your brother give for this
24 one, for that one?" Everything was revolved around, "Where is your
25 money? Where were you that day, on such-and-such a day, at
1 such-and-such a moment?" If I can say so, those questions were stupid
2 to me. That is all. I had to say where I had left gold, money, that I
3 did not have because I had invested everything. I did not have any
4 capital because I had invested everything, but all the time I was
5 asked for money.
6 Q. When the interrogators were not completely satisfied with your
7 answers, what did they tell you?
8 A. They would say, "We have better methods, you will admit eventually".
9 Q. Were you taken out of Keraterm at some point for a short time?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who took you out of Keraterm?
12 A. I was taken by a man who was called by everybody in the camp Zigic,
13 and whom everybody knew by that nickname.
14 Q. Why did this man Zigic take you out of camp?
15 A. I can claim that because I was escorted by them to my house, but
16 first they told me to go into Halid's house and look for money and
17 gold, and then they went to my house and told me to look for it, but I
18 did not have any. You know what happens after that; beatings, torture
19 and then taking me back to the camp.
20 Q. So first they took you to your brother's house and then to your house
21 looking for valuables?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. After the period of ---
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- of time you indicated, were you taken from Keraterm to Omarska?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In what part of Omarska were you held after you arrived?
3 A. I was placed in room No. 15. That is what I heard the number was.
4 There was no number on it, but that is what it was called, room No.
6 Q. Mr. Muslimovic, do not take off your headphones just yet, but I will
7 ask you to get up and point out on the model in front of you -- you
8 may use the pointer to your right, if you wish -- where the room in
9 which you were held which you knew as room 15 was. You may want to
10 remove your headphones when you walk over and point it out.
11 A. Shall I begin?
12 Q. Yes, please. If you could also put on those headphones when you get
13 over there in case there is something else I need to ask you.
14 A. Is that all?
15 Q. Yes. If you could first point to room 15, please?
16 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
17 Q. Can you read the numbers which are on the floor of the area which
18 comprises room 15?
19 A. B7, B23 and B8.
20 Q. Yes, you can return to your seat. What did room 15 consist of?
21 A. What do you mean? I did not understand the question. Are you
22 referring to the material it was made of or what it was composed of?
23 Q. Let me ask you this question. Did you have a particular place in the
25 A. Yes. I was in a shower booth. It was so big that two of us had to
1 sleep in it and you know roughly how big it is. Sometimes there were
2 three of us sleeping in one shower booth.
3 Q. Can we call up Z3, 15-13, please? Mr. Muslimovic, do you recognise
4 what is shown in this photograph?
5 A. Certainly.
6 Q. Are those some of the shower booths in room 15?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was your place on this side or on the other side?
9 A. My place cannot be seen on this side. It is on the left-hand side
10 and my place was on the left-hand side in the corner.
11 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender this as Exhibit 254.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: No, your Honour.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 254 will be admitted.
15 JUDGE STEPHEN: I wonder if you would tell the witness again to keep back
16 from the microphone?
17 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Muslimovic, if I could ask you to move back a little bit
18 from the microphones? They are quite sensitive and they will be able
19 to pick up your voice.
20 Toward the latter part of your imprisonment in Omarska, did
21 you manage to get into a room in the restaurant and away from room 15?
22 A. Yes, yes, I did, but only towards the end of my stay in the camp,
23 towards the end of the hell that was taking place there.
24 Q. Did you do so because you had been told you were on a liquidation
1 A. Certainly.
2 Q. During the time you were in room 15 were prisoners regularly called
3 out at night from your room?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did many of them disappear after they were called out?
6 A. Many of those who were called out never returned to our room.
7 Q. What about those who did return, what was their physical condition?
8 A. Walking corpses, wounded, injured. We cannot describe that, but we
9 can just say a wounded man is returning. We could not see which parts
10 of the body were wounded, but he was walking like he had just been run
11 over by a car.
12 Q. Were beatings a regular occurrence at Omarska, beatings of prisoners?
13 A. Every day.
14 Q. When would those things occur? What would prisoners be doing when
15 beatings would happen?
16 A. Would you please repeat the question?
17 Q. Sure. Under what circumstances would those beatings take place?
18 A. They were called out, taken out and beaten up. That was mostly late,
19 in the late afternoon and then on through the night.
20 Q. What about during other times when prisoners were going to their meal
21 or were going to the toilet?
22 A. Certainly, when we went to our meals that was the daily event. If
23 you got away without any beating, that was great luck. When you went
24 to the toilet, you had to keep from going because you never knew what
25 criminal was there at the door. Daily, wherever you went out of the
1 room, you expected to be beaten and if you were not beaten, that was
2 just a piece of luck.
3 Q. You referred to going to meals. What kind of food did prisoners
4 receive when they went to meals?
5 A. They were given a meal a day, sometimes no meal, and most frequently
6 the last inmates did not get anything, the first got something, so
7 they returned without having anything. The meal was the kind that I
8 would never serve anybody, not even my greatest enemy I would not
9 allow to eat that. That is all.
10 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I am about to move on to a new area.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Today we are going to adjourn at 5 o'clock so we
12 will stand in recess though for 20 minutes.
13 (4.00 p.m.).
14 (Short adjournment)
15 (4.20 p.m.)
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, would you like to continue, please?
17 MR. TIEGER: Yes, your Honour, thank you. Mr. Muslimovic, did you know
18 anyone named Dule Tadic before the war?
19 A. No.
20 Q. While you were in Omarska did other prisoners point out to you a man
21 they said was named Dule Tadic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Had you ever seen that man before Omarska?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Were you beaten by this man in Omarska?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. On how many occasions?
3 A. I had two direct collisions with him.
4 Q. In addition to the beatings, did you see him in Omarska at other
6 A. Yes, several times.
7 Q. Where did you see him?
8 A. I saw him in front of the kitchen and in front of the white house.
9 Q. How many times did you see him by the kitchen?
10 A. About two times, I should say, twice, two or three -- twice, that is
12 Q. Where were you when you saw him by the kitchen?
13 A. We were moving towards the kitchen. We were going for lunch.
14 Q. How many times did you see him by the white house?
15 A. Also about two times.
16 Q. Where were you when you saw him by the white house?
17 A. At the window in the room in which I was.
18 Q. In May of this year did investigators show you a book of photographs?
19 A. Could you repeat the question, please? I did not hear it.
20 Q. Of course. In May of this year did investigators show you a book of
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At any time before you were shown the book of photographs, had you
24 seen a picture of the person in camp you knew as Dule Tadic in any
25 newspapers or television or from any other source?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Were you asked to look at the photographs in the book?
3 A. I am not getting the interpretation. I do not hear anything. Yes.
4 Q. OK. You finally heard the question and you were asked to look at the
5 photographs in the book. Were you asked to see if there was anyone
6 you recognised?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did they tell you whose pictures were in the book?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you look at the photographs in the photo book?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. After looking at the photographs in the photo book had you seen the
13 photograph of someone you were sure you recognised from Omarska?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was that the person who beat you on two occasions and whom you had
16 been told was Dule Tadic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you sign and date the back of the photograph of the person you
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. May the witness be shown which should be marked for identification as
22 Exhibit 255?
23 A. May I have a look at it?
24 Q. Yes, please.
25 A. It looks like it. Yes.
1 Q. Is this the book of photographs you were shown, Mr. Muslimovic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Does your signature and the date appear on the back of the photograph
4 you recognised?
5 A. I do not know. I would have to take a look.
6 Q. Please do.
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender 255 for admission.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I understand there is a running objection to the use
10 of the photospread book.
11 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, your Honour.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will note that objection. It will be overruled.
13 Exhibit 255 is admitted.
14 MR. TIEGER (To the witness): Mr. Muslimovic, I would like to ask you
15 about the first time you were beaten by this man. Did that occur
16 after an interrogation?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Where was the interrogation conducted?
19 A. In the room above the kitchen to the right.
20 Q. Were you beaten during that interrogation?
21 A. Yes, of course and quite a lot.
22 Q. When the interrogation was over what path did you take back to your
24 A. The same path that I got there, down the stairs and from the kitchen
25 to the -- from the white house to the kitchen and then naturally
1 upstairs to room 15.
2 Q. As you walked toward the entrance to the hangar, what happened?
3 A. Well, you know, each one of us looked for some comfort and trying to
4 see someone, to greet someone, to say "hello" to someone. Each one of
5 us could be called out and not returned. Each one had his own story to
6 tell, and I accompanied by blows from the kitchen, blows I received
7 with an electric cord, I walked to the corner, what should I call it,
8 a hangar, or a building, the one that is in front of me. There I was
9 for a while let alone.
10 The guard went around me and came in front. Of course, I had
11 to follow him, but I took a glance. My head had to be down but I did
12 steal a look, and there were about five, six, 10 people in front
13 there. Of course I do not know how many because I did not dare look
14 for longer, it was too dangerous, but you were looking for some
15 comfort to save your life, then it is not as dangerous. It is more
16 dangerous when you know there is no escape.
17 Of the people who stood there -- there were about five or six
18 or seven of them, I did not count them -- I recognised Kecema, Dusko,
19 or perhaps I thought that he could be the one who could perhaps help
20 me to end as a dead man, but from what I could see he gave no sign of
21 coming near me, coming to me, saying, "How are you? Where are you?"
22 or something. He was just walking up and down. When I saw that, I
23 simply felt he would not help me.
24 When I was near the door, not quite at the door but near it, I
25 cast a last look, hoping that that man who I believed might help me,
1 would do something, anything, but I could no longer see him. He was
2 not in the line of my eyes, and I only heard a man saying, "Oh, well,
3 I know this one. He has got broad shoulders" and he started towards
4 me. I hurried.
5 Q. Where was the group that Dusko Kecema was with? Can you point it out
6 with the long pointer?
7 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
8 Q. On that grassy area?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. You may be seated. Do you know who he was with at that time or did
11 you see any of the people at that point who he was with?
12 A. Well, I used to see some of those people, of course.
13 Q. After the remark was made by someone that he knew this one who has
14 broad shoulders and you hurried toward the hangar, what happened?
15 A. I started towards the hangar and I did try to hurry because somehow I
16 did feel some danger was imminent and I reached the door, the entrance
17 door to the staircase, not the room, but the staircase and there I
18 felt a blow which made me fall down on my hands in the direction of
19 the stairs.
20 Q. After you fell down in the direction of the stairs, what happened
22 A. I fell on my hands and I remained in that posture. My hands and my
23 feet were on the ground. I was not lying down exactly, but I was like
24 that, and he came from behind my back and got me by my hair and was
25 pushing me left and right, shoving me left and right, and in this
1 driving, I do not know what else to call it, I had to lift my hands
2 and at one point I faced the exit doors from this area where the
3 stairs were.
4 Q. So, after you first fell to your hands and knees, someone came from
5 behind you and grabbed you by the hair and pulled you back?
6 A. Left and right, up and down, around, as if trying to shake
7 something. I do not know how to describe it. He grabbed me by the
8 hair. He turned me to the right, to the left but very roughly, very
9 strongly. It was painful, of course. After that shuffling right and
10 left, up and down, I found myself facing the exit door but on my knees
12 Q. You said that he grabbed you by the hair, were you able to see who
13 had grabbed you by the hair and did you recognise who that was?
14 A. Of course the gentleman on the picture.
15 Q. After you found yourself facing the exit door but still on your
16 knees, what happened next?
17 A. At that moment I saw a man holding a beret. My head was still pulled
18 back so that I had to watch it, and it was right in front of my eyes
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak up a little, please?
21 THE WITNESS: -- and the man holding that beret ---
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Muslimovic ---
23 A. -- told me to kiss it.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: -- would you speak up a little bit? It is very
25 difficult to know just how far; we tell you to move forwards and then
1 we tell you to move back. I have the same problem. But speak up a
2 bit and if you have a problem, let us know.
3 THE WITNESS: So I was staring at that beret. There was a badge on it
4 which we all knew. I did not really try to see the colours and all
5 that, but at that moment I saw a Kokarda. I was ordered to kiss it,
6 which I refused and after a little while, a kick from a person who was
7 standing across me and holding this Kokarda hit me, so that simply as
8 he hit me I fell against that Kokarda and it cut my lip, and I was
9 bleeding. This was followed by a series of blows up and down, left
10 and right. You did not know where they came from. The important
11 thing was that you were receiving those blows.
12 Q. Do you know the name of the man who had the Kokarda and who kicked
14 A. I do not know his name. I know his nickname was Saponja, but whether
15 that was his real name or a nickname, I do not know. I do not think
16 that Saponja is a name, but I believe it is a nickname.
17 Q. After the series of blows following Saponja's kick to your mouth,
18 what was the next thing that happened?
19 A. After the blow a series of blows followed and I received a blow in
20 the head like this. I could not see what it was, with what it was,
21 but the blow was so strong that I stumbled forward. I fell to that
22 posture and I remained there because as I stumbled the most important
23 thing was to hide one's head because everything else was less painful.
24 But there were blows on my arms and everywhere, so that I was trying
25 to protect my head slightly. At one point I felt that my arms were
1 blocked, that somebody was standing on my hands and I could not move
2 either right or left. Then a series of blows in the head followed and
3 then some object was thrown. I was not watching it, but I know it
4 hurt. Then it came against my back, so one expects it to hit you, but
5 how that object reached my back I do not know. At any rate, I was in
6 this posture and there was this object, that thing falling down on me.
7 Q. Did you struggle to get away and were you successful?
8 A. Well, you know, a whole day of interrogation and beating you could
9 not call it interrogation, beating, I really was powerless, but
10 somehow I summoned up strength because I thought it was the end, I
11 thought I would not get out alive, that that is where my end would
12 happen. As they were still hitting me left and right and everywhere,
13 somehow I managed to pull my hands...hands free and in this fury I
14 managed to run up the stairs. I did it. I did it. I managed to get
15 away and reach, I cannot understand how, but I did manage to reach the
16 top of the stairs where there was a guard with a rifle aimed at me. I
17 did not care any longer whether he would fire, perhaps it would have
18 been easier. I simply pushed him away. At that moment I felt that it
19 would be much easier for me if he fired because if I went back it
20 would be the same. As it was I thought it would hurt less. So the
21 door was open, well, I cannot say it was unlocked, neither it was
22 closed, I think the door was ajar. So, as I was thrusting forward, as
23 I pushed him away I just got into the room, and that must have been
24 some divine force, I do not know what it was, I cannot describe it. At
25 any rate, I entered and I felt safer. What did it mean "safer"? But
1 I was among other people. I was not alone. If anything was going to
2 happen then I was not alone. I was with them. I do not know how. I
3 was not moving normally, walking normally, but at the entrance I was
4 passing through the door and I received another strong blow in the
5 back. So that, I do not know how to put it, I stumbled, I staggered
6 and I then staggered on to this area, to this room, where I used to
7 sleep, where on one hand there were the shower booths and on the other
8 side a trough, a concrete trough, and I somehow managed to get in and
9 that is where I fell down.
10 Q. Did anyone follow you into the room?
11 A. From that moment when I was walking, while I was still moving, I did
12 not know that, but as I fell by the trough I heard a bullet and I
13 thought it was the bullet intended for me. That is how it sounded,
14 echoing, "Nobody approach me, I will kill anyone who comes close", and
15 then I realised he was in, that he was in that room where we were. I
16 heard, "Don't move, don't turn around, I will kill anyone who moves."
17 Then the voices were getting further and furtherer away. It was not
18 as loud as when they were next to me, as the first moment it appeared,
19 as sounding as if it was right next to me, and the door closed. I
20 tried to stand up, to straighten up by this trough because that was
21 not the place where I used to be before. I did straighten up but I
22 fell down again. As far as I can remember, it was Mr. Alic, I believe
23 it was Mirso Alic, I am not absolutely sure but I think it was him, he
24 came to me and how I reached the place where I used to be before I do
25 not know, from the trough to my usual place. I do not know. I know I
1 fell down and when I came to I realised I was in my place.
2 Q. You mentioned that you heard a bullet. Is that the sound of a bullet
3 being fired or a bullet being chambered?
4 A. No. I heard a regular being chambered, a rifle uncocked. Perhaps I
5 said a bullet, but what I heard was a rifle being cocked. Well, I
6 guess the sound was very loud. It sounded very loud. It sounded as
7 if it was right by my ear that sound.
8 Q. Approximately how long after this first beating did the second
9 beating involving the man you knew as Dule occur?
10 A. It is very difficult to speak about time, but I think it must have
11 been a week, not more than that, perhaps a day or two more or less,
12 but about a week.
13 Q. Were you in room 15 that day?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. About what time of the day did the incident occur?
16 A. It happened late in the afternoon. It was still light, but I did not
17 have a watch. I do not know the date. It was impossible to remember.
18 I could not be bothered really. I simply did not want to think, but
19 it was late in the afternoon and it was still daylight.
20 Q. Was a prisoner called out from your room?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Who was that?
23 A. Emir Beganovic.
24 Q. After Emir Beganovic was called out could you hear the sounds of a
25 beating coming from downstairs?
1 A. Sounds reached that area where I was, but not so loudly, not as if it
2 was in the next room or in my room. They came from the outside. One
3 could hear them.
4 Q. Sometime after that were you called out?
5 A. True.
6 Q. Where was the voice that was calling you out coming from?
7 A. From the entrance door.
8 Q. Did you leave the room and did you get up and go toward the entrance
10 A. Not the first time, but the second time when the same voice came I
11 had to.
12 Q. Was there a Serb soldier outside the door when you left the room?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was there another Serb waiting for you down the stairs?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Where was that person?
17 A. That man was stood at the bottom of the stairs, perhaps a metre, half
18 a metre. Generally speaking, he was standing by the stairs.
19 Q. What was that person wearing?
20 A. All I remember is the white belt, the white belt and military uniform
21 naturally, but this white belt stuck in my mind.
22 Q. Did you go downstairs?
23 A. Of course.
24 Q. Did the man with the white belt stop you or let you pass initially?
25 A. No, at that moment when I came near him he let me pass by and stayed
1 behind my back.
2 Q. What happened next?
3 A. I turned right, it was two or three steps, so I started and there was
4 a man with a rifle who said, "No, no, there", and immediately a blow
5 from the back followed and then so on and so forth, I was accompanied
6 by blows. From the left and from the right, I did not know where they
7 were coming from. You had to cover your head to protect yourself, so
8 you protected yourself up there and then they hit you below. So there
9 were blows from the entrance door.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak up or come closer to the
11 microphone? We barely here him.
12 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Muslimovic, I will ask you to move your chair a little
13 closer to the microphone again, if you do not mind. Were you hit or
14 pushed toward the hangar?
15 A. I was a bit struck. The strongest ones were in the back and those
16 were the ones who pushed me. That was from the left, from the right
17 and then one from the back, so that I had to stagger forward. That is
18 how the blows directed me to this door, not towards the exit but
19 towards the interior.
20 Q. When you got to the interior part of the hangar, that is the hangar
21 floor, what happened?
22 A. I did not enter, that is putting it very mildly. Under those blows
23 there was force which directed me that way. Then came questions, not
24 questions but orders, "Take off your jacket", so I took off my jacket
25 which was of a coffee colour. I gave it to the person who had met me
1 at the stairs and, of course, he began to search through it, to frisk
2 it. It was not much, but he began to look there and he was cursing
3 and saying, "Where's your money?" and curses and filthy language. I
4 was not thinking much about that. I was wondering whether they would
5 hit me again. I felt and I saw this jacket. It was low and my head
6 was down, but I was trying to look like this, and I felt how this
7 jacket was thrown away as if behind the back. There was nothing in it
8 for sure. Then questions ensued, "Where's your money? What kind of a
9 mortar do you have?" and things like that. I mean such provocative
10 questions that you just look at him, I mean, you know, someone asks
11 you, "Where's your tank?" I mean you cannot hide a tank. It was like
12 that. It was so incredible. If he had asked me some normal questions
13 perhaps I might have thought about them, but the questions were such
14 that there was nothing you could reply. So you just kept silent and
15 question was accompanied, was followed by a blow.
16 Q. Was there a group of Serbs there at that time?
17 A. Of course. Not in a group, but when you are hit and your head goes
18 right or left or up and down and every time it moves you are bound to
19 see somebody. They were all over, in front and behind and to the
20 left, because whenever he hit you you could not keep your posture, you
21 changed simply the posture. Whenever you looked they were there.
22 Q. What were they beating you with, what sorts of objects?
23 A. Rifles, electrical cords, soldiers' boots which was very, very heavy,
24 perhaps heavier than the gun, a baseball bat. This is what I could
25 see and feel on my back.
1 Q. At some point did you end up held against a dumper tyre?
2 A. Yes, true.
3 Q. How did that happen?
4 A. After this series of blows which followed, mostly from the gentleman
5 with white slings and white belt, and others too of course but more
6 often than not from that gentleman, I could not see anything. You
7 hear, but you just do not see. All is dark, all is black. I do not
8 know what to call it, but at that moment I did not see anything
9 regardless of whether I had my eyes open or not. I heard again a
10 noise, shouts, but I could not understand, I could not distinguish.
11 When I realised that I was able to see something around me, I was
12 already straightened up and I could not fall down because my arms were
13 in that position and fixed. So I assumed I had been tied because it
14 was impossible for a man to stand like that. My head was bent down.
15 As the seconds were passing by I was recovering my consciousness more
16 and more and I realised that I was tied to a tyre which was bigger
17 than I. I did not turn to see what kind of a tyre it was. I could
18 not. One could see while hit that it was a tyre.
19 Q. What happened after you were held against that tyre?
20 A. Well, it was always accompanied by blows, a series of blows and
21 noise, curses, always swearing at mother, at religion, and they were
22 practising blows. I was just a bat they used to practise blows. They
23 practised them until I lost consciousness again.
24 Q. What kind of blows did they practise?
25 A. They were mostly blows, how shall I say, I do not know how to put it.
1 Most of the blows were with the foot, mostly with a foot. Naturally
2 some came with a rifle or some with a bat, but they were mostly kicks
3 with the foot, from the right and from left, and they hurt most here
4 from the chin downward. Those were the kicks that I felt best.
5 Everything else somehow I could endure easier than those kicks.
6 Q. Were the kicks from any particular person the strongest?
7 A. Must be because those were the ones that I felt most and that they
8 hurt most. I thought somehow when he hit me here I felt them in the
9 back, as if they went right through. If somebody came with a rifle,
10 that was fine with me. That was really very nice for me as compared
11 with that kick. I mean, the word "fine" is not perhaps the best word,
12 but I somehow felt easier when hit with the rifle or anything else
13 than that.
14 Q. Who was it whose kicks were the strongest and most effective?
15 A. The gentleman whom I recognised in the picture.
16 MR. TIEGER: Should I continue your Honour?
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will adjourn until Tuesday at 10.30. We will
18 begin at 10.30 on Tuesday instead of 10 o'clock.
19 (5.00 p.m.).
20 (The court adjourned until Tuesday, 23rd July 1996)