1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL CASE NO. IT-94-1-T
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Thursday, 25th July 1996
5 (10.00 a.m.)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
7 MR. TIEGER: Yes, your Honour. The next witness is Muharem Besic.
8 MR. MUHAREM BESIC, called.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Besic, would you please take the oath?
10 THE WITNESS [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
11 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
12 (The witness was sworn)
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. Thank you. You may be seated.
14 Examined by MR. TIEGER
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
16 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. Sir, what is your name?
17 A. Muharem Besic.
18 Q. In what year were you born?
19 A. The 12th October 1955 in Kozarac.
20 Q. Did you attend elementary school in Kozarac?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was that at Rade Kondic school?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you were a young adult, did you work in Zagreb for approximately
25 three or four years as a painter?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. During that time did you return home to Kozarac every week or two to
3 spend the weekend?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was there then a two-year period when you were back living in
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Then a couple of years after that when you worked in construction in
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. During that period of time as well did you return home to spend the
12 weekends in Kozarac every other week or so?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. After that you returned to live and work in Kozarac full time?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So with the exception of those four or five years in Croatia during
17 which you were coming home regularly, you lived in Kozarac your whole
18 life until the conflict in 1992?
19 A. Absolutely.
20 Q. Were you living in Kozarac immediately before the war?
21 A. I did.
22 Q. Was that in the village of Besici?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. With whom did you live?
25 A. Besici.
1 Q. Did you reside there with your family?
2 A. I lived with my father, mother, brother, his wife and two of his
4 Q. Mr. Besic, do you know Dusko Tadic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How long have you known him?
7 A. Well, I have known him since early childhood, since I was 10 or 12,
8 so that is about 30 years.
9 Q. Did the two of you go to school together?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you know each other by nicknames?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What did you call him and what did he call you?
14 A. I called him Dule and he called me Cicak.
15 Q. Did you remain on sociable terms with Dusko Tadic as you grew up?
16 A. Well, we were not particularly close, but whenever we met we would
17 greet each other, "Hello, Dule, what's new?" and things like that and
18 the same he asked of me.
19 Q. Did you associate together at times, for example, sitting in cafes
20 having drinks and so on?
21 A. We did. We were often in company together, well, perhaps not often,
22 perhaps once a year, perhaps not even that much.
23 Q. Did you know his family?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you know his parents?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. His brothers?
3 A. His brothers, yes.
4 Q. Were you good friends with any of his brothers?
5 A. With his elder brother, Ljubo, we were very close for about two
6 years. We were true friends.
7 Q. Did you visit the Tadic home?
8 A. Yes, with his elder brother, Ljubo, I used to go to his home.
9 Q. Did you know Mr. Tadic's wife?
10 A. I did.
11 Q. Mr. Besic, after the beginning of the war in Croatia and increasing
12 tensions between Muslims and Serbs, did you observe some of the people
13 who gathered in Mr. Tadic's cafe?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In particular, were persons who were supporters of the war and
16 involved in it frequent patrons of Mr. Tadic's cafe?
17 A. Yes, people who -----
18 MR. KAY: Could my learned friend not lead in relation to such matters as
19 he is inviting the witness to support the conclusion within his
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The question was, in particular, who were supporters
22 of the war. I am trying to look at the question. If it is just
23 preliminary, then there is no problem. Mr. Tieger, what was the
25 MR. TIEGER: I believe the question was, were persons who were supporters
1 of the war and involved in it frequent patrons of Mr. Tadic's cafe?
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I will overrule the objection.
3 THE WITNESS: Yes, they were frequent patrons of the cafe, those people
4 who were waging war in Croatia, and who had come back from the front
5 and those reservists. Those soldiers of those, they used to come
6 quite often to this cafe and then drink into the late hours of the
7 night and did all sorts of things.
8 Q. Were some of those persons residents of the Kozarac area?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember some of them?
11 A. Drago Vidovic called "Tepo", Goran Borovnica and many other people
12 whose names I did not know. They came by army vehicles and they
13 parked there. I could see it very well because across the street was
14 the barber's shop where I was every day, rather, every second day, to
15 get a shave.
16 Q. Those persons whose names you did not know who came by army vehicles,
17 were those persons from outside the Kozarac area?
18 A. From around Kozarac because there were no such people in the centre
19 of Kozarac or, at least, very few of them but from the area of
20 Kozarac, from the broader area of Kozarac.
21 Q. Mr. Besic, were you in Kozarac when the military attack began on May
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were you in central Kozarac at that time?
25 A. Yes, I was in the centre of Kozarac.
1 Q. Did you seek shelter in the basement of the bank which was located on
2 the main street?
3 A. Yes, I was, yes. I did. I was in the cellar of the bank together
4 with the people from that building and inhabitants of the adjacent
6 Q. Did you essentially remain there until you surrendered to Serb forces
7 on May 26th?
8 A. Yes, I stayed there until Tuesday morning around 9.00 or 10 o'clock,
9 I would not know exactly, when the column was formed in front of the
11 Q. You mentioned a column. What was at the head of this column?
12 A. At the head of the column, that was the order, it was in, I do not
13 know who ordered it, but that white flag should be carried and there
14 was a boy with a white flag at the head of the column.
15 Q. Did the column consist of Muslim men, women and children?
16 A. Yes, the population of Kozarac, even the new borns were there.
17 Q. What was the situation in Kozarac at this time? What did central
18 Kozarac look like?
19 A. Well, you know, the roofs had already been shelled. There were fires
20 here and there, but mostly roofs and windows had already been broken,
21 shattered, by detonations and the trees, when a shell would hit a
22 tree, then the road was quite green with branches and leaves. So,
23 Kozarac was shelled from Sunday at 2 o'clock and for two days and then
24 it was very intensive shelling. The shelling went as if a sewing
25 machine was sewing seeds in the field and that was it.
1 Q. Mr. Besic, where did the column go?
2 A. The column moved towards the Prijedor/Banja Luka road or, rather, we
3 were told to head for Prijedor.
4 Q. Did the column stop at some point?
5 A. The column stopped at the first stop towards, on the way towards
6 Prijedor, in Sujica at a stop called Limenka.
7 Q. You said the first stop, by that you mean the first bus stop?
8 A. No, that was the first time that we stopped as pedestrians.
9 Q. About how far away is that from the junction of the Prijedor/Banja
10 Luka road and the road to Kozarac?
11 A. About a kilometre and a half or two.
12 Q. Were Serb forces there at Limenka?
13 A. Yes, there were lots of military there, tanks, armoured vehicles,
14 guns, cannons, machine gunnists. They were all armed.
15 Q. You say there were lots of military there. How were the Serbs
16 dressed? What were they wearing?
17 A. Most of them wore camouflage uniforms, so they had some hats here
18 with some flaps. There were also some people who had masks over their
19 faces. Some had their face open. There were people who had half
20 civilian, half military clothes on.
21 Q. Were these persons in uniform armed?
22 A. Yes, of course, they were all armed with rifles, some even had
23 machine guns.
24 Q. At Limenka were Muslim men separated from the Muslim women and
1 A. Yes, they were separated. Men were separated from women and then
2 once again men were separated again, that is, some were boarded on
3 some buses and others on other buses. I do not know what that
4 particular separation meant.
5 Q. Were some Muslim men taken to places other than the buses?
6 A. Yes, across the street from Limenka on the left-hand side in the
7 direction of Prijedor, there was a very big house with a balcony the
8 length of that building, and there was the machine gun turned towards
9 the road, towards us. There were some four or five Serb soldiers on
10 that balcony and people were being taken into that building. Among
11 others there was some called Muma. I do not know his surname because
12 he did not live for a long time in Kozarac. He was married to a
13 Kozarac woman and lived there, but otherwise he came from Prijedor.
14 He was taken in, amongst others. As far as I could judge, the
15 situation there must have been in that house somebody who knew Kozarac
16 and Kozarac people very well.
17 Q. To your knowledge, were the men who were taken into that house ever
18 seen again?
19 A. No, neither heard nor seen them alive.
20 Q. Were you placed on a bus?
21 A. I was first separated from the column as such that was taken with
22 men, and then, as something special, I was taken on to a bus and they
23 were searched by Serb policemen, let me in and took down my name and
25 Q. After that did your bus leave the area of Limenka?
1 A. The bus started towards Prijedor in the direction of Prijedor. We
2 stopped in Kozarusa across Ziko's coffee bar.
3 Q. After stopping at Ziko's coffee bar, did the bus proceed on to
5 A. Yes, the bus continued towards Prijedor, but we then did go toward to
6 Keraterm because it is before Prijedor.
7 Q. Were the men on the bus unloaded and held in Keraterm?
8 A. Yes, we got off the bus. We had to lower our hands like this at the
9 back of the head and we entered a building in Keraterm which was very
10 dusty, and there were lots of packaging materials there, pallets and
12 Q. Where were you held in Keraterm, in what part of the building?
13 A. In a large room. Before it there is a small narrow room and then
14 comes this large one.
15 Q. Did you spend that night in Keraterm and the next day?
16 A. I spent that night in Keraterm, the next day, and around 10 o'clock
17 in the evening they began to load us on to buses again.
18 Q. Where were those buses taken?
19 A. That I was to learn only after several hours on the bus. We were
20 brought to Omarska, to the mine of Omarska.
21 Q. So you arrived in Omarska sometime in the middle of the night?
22 A. Yes, could have been around midnight or one hour after midnight.
23 Q. Were guards present to meet the buses when they arrived?
24 A. Yes, the guards were standing in a cordon and we had to pass between
25 them in order to reach that room in which we were then detained.
1 Q. Did the prisoners have to leave the buses in any particular way?
2 A. Yes. We had to have our hands up and pass between them, and they
3 beat us with whatever they could lay their hands on, some more, some
4 less, with a stick, if they had it, with a baton or with a kick of the
5 foot and things like that.
6 Q. Where were you first held?
7 A. We were first confined in a huge room. What does it mean, "huge"? A
8 large room. I should say, from what I could see since I had worked a
9 lot in the field and changed my clothes on construction sites, they
10 were lockers for clothes. I know what they look like. So this was a
11 room where workers changed their clothes.
12 Q. Mr. Besic, during the time you were in Omarska were prisoners killed?
13 A. Yes, the same night we did not even all come in, and only men with a
14 strong character, somebody who really -- there was Ahil Dedic who had
15 a very strong will, and they first beat him there at the entrance.
16 Then Ahil came in and he was all beaten up and torn and then, in my
17 estimate, after about 10 minutes and knowing him well, Ahil was crazy.
18 He broke down one door and he found a piece of machinery, and then we
19 were still not inmates, we were detainees, but when he broke down that
20 door, you could hear the noise and a Serb soldier came in, that one
21 called Cigo. I only know him by his nickname. He hit Ahil with a
22 rifle butt across the face, with the butt. His barrel was in his
23 arms. Then Ahil was taken out and then you could hear shots, a spray.
24 I cannot say that he was killed, but the facts are talking about that
25 because next morning I saw him lying on the grass.
1 Q. Did you see Ahil Dedic's corpse the next morning lying on the grass?
2 A. Yes, of Ahil Dedic, yes.
3 Q. The day after you arrived, Mr. Besic, were you taken for
5 A. Yes, the next day a soldier came in and said to line up in fours and
6 we would go to be interrogated, and I was in the first four.
7 Q. Where were you taken for integration?
8 A. I went to be interrogated upstairs in the building where the kitchen
10 Q. Upstairs, did you see any Serbs whom you recognised?
11 A. Yes, up the spiral staircase going upstairs there were about maybe
12 six, maybe up to 10 of them. I did not count them. I was not looking
13 at them in their faces. My hands were behind my head and Neso Janjic
14 said, "Where have you been, Cicak?" and I said, "Here I am". He is
15 the only one I recognised. He had a cafe in Suhi Brod. It was called
16 Sretno. It was not his ownership. He was just leasing it and he was
17 from a village near Omarska.
18 Q. Were you searched before you were interrogated?
19 A. I was brought in front of a door and then they leaned me against a
20 wall, my face against a wall, with three fingers up and then the
21 soldier sort of felt me all around and when that was done, the door
22 was open and I was led inside.
23 Q. Did you know the person who interrogated you and did you know him
24 before the war?
25 A. When I got in the man said, "Hello, Cicak". It was my acquaintance.
1 We knew each other his name is Rade Knezevic. He was a former
2 inspector of SUP.
3 Q. What is Mr. Knezevic's nationality?
4 A. Serb.
5 Q. After interrogation, Mr. Besic, where were you held then?
6 A. After interrogation, I was taken to the garage. It is a small room
7 in this huge room -- this huge building. As you come in, it is to the
8 right from the door that I went in by.
9 Q. How long were you held there?
10 A. At that time it was about noon, and I was held there the whole night
11 and the next day until dusk, sort of.
12 Q. Were there other prisoners held there as well?
13 A. Yes, as they were interrogated some were going to other rooms and
14 some were coming to me in this garage. The garage filled up and we
15 were all like stuck into the ground. You could not move. It was over
16 100 people there.
17 Q. You indicated that you were held there the whole day and the next day
18 until dusk. Where were you then moved?
19 A. Right. Then we were taken, I was taken to that huge room, on the top
20 floor, up the stairs, and then we were held for about an hour because
21 it was overcrowded. Then they said the ones who were closest to the
22 door, they would be taken elsewhere and I was among them.
23 Q. Where were you then taken?
24 A. I was taken to the ground floor in another room which was called the
25 electric workshop.
1 Q. Mr. Besic, I would like you in a moment to stand up and point out on
2 the model the room in which you were held, the room you have just
3 mentioned. When you get to that portion of the model, if you would
4 put on the earphones which will be handed to you, and if you can take
5 the pointer which is on the desk as well?
6 A. Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Besic, if you are going to speak, if you will speak as in the
8 direction of the microphone which is on the table to your right?
9 A. OK.
10 Q. Can you point out for us then where you were taken after
12 A. After the interrogation I was taken in this room here.
13 Q. If you could return to that position there? That was the small
14 garage you referred to, Mr. Besic?
15 A. The small garage, yes.
16 Q. Where were you held after that? The cord has been disconnected. Can
17 you hear me now?
18 A. Yes, I can hear you well -- oh, I cannot hear anything now.
19 Q. Can you hear any sound now as it is being interpreted?
20 A. I cannot hear anything.
21 Q. There may be a disconnection in the portion of the wire which is on
22 the floor.
23 A. I just heard something. I just heard something. Can you repeat it?
24 No, I cannot hear anything now -- yes.
25 Q. Sorry about the technical problem, sir. Can you hear me now? Mr.
1 Besic, if I could ask you to pick up the pointer which is behind you
2 on the model and can you either indicate or tell us where you were
3 held immediately after you left the small garage?
4 A. [No interpretation].
5 Q. I am sorry, I am not getting any translation now.
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are hearing it but in Serbo-Croat, not in
8 A. After that I was taken to the top floor, the large room to the room
9 that goes up the stairs to the top floor where I spent about one hour.
10 As they were deciding, they took us back to this room downstairs
11 that is called the electric workshop.
12 Q. Can you read the number which is written which appears on the floor
13 of the room in which you were held?
14 A. A17.
15 Q. Mr. Besic, did you normally stay in a particular part of that room?
16 A. Yes. All the time I spent in this part here. That means the top
17 left corner of the room, looking from the door as you walk in here.
18 Q. Was the Court able to see that and was counsel able to see the
19 approximate position the witness indicated? Sir, if you could just
20 point out your approximate spot once again?
21 A. Right here.
22 MR. KAY: Yes, your Honour.
23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you. Mr. Besic, you can take your seat again. Thank
24 you. Mr. Besic, can I ask you to briefly describe the general
25 conditions in Omarska during the period of time you were held there?
1 A. What shall I tell you? For in 70, 75 days that I was there I lost 29
2 kilos. I was first weighed in Manjaca afterwards and this can be,
3 sort of, supported by the Red Cross. I was not bathing. I was not
4 having a hygiene and then I was not lying down stretched for a single
5 night. There were a lot of lice. We were all tired. People were
6 beaten up, people coming in. People urinated in the room. People even
7 urinated with their clothes on. So you can imagine when people spent
8 all day at 35, 40 centigrade, so you can imagine how it looked with
9 200 people in the room. The room is, maybe, let us say it is 40
10 square metres -- I think that is even too much -- but you can just
11 imagine what was going on with us there. Then the people were sick
12 and then people were weeping. For the first eight days, I was not
13 even going out to eat. I was too afraid.
14 I was -- I mentioned my nickname, Cicak. Everybody knew me as
15 "Cicak". People did not know my name because I think that death was
16 waiting for me, had I stepped out -- me and the others as well. What
17 they said that it was just a centre, reception centre. That is a lie.
18 There was no basis in that. The war was created because they followed
19 -- a curse was following them. First, you have something, then you
20 were taken everything away from you.
21 Q. Mr. Besic, did you remain in Omarska until you were transferred to
22 Manjaca in early August?
23 A. Yes, I stayed there until August 6th in Omarska.
24 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may I have this photograph marked as Exhibit 268
25 for identification, please? Mr. Besic, do you recognise that
1 photograph or what is shown in that photograph?
2 A. Yes, in the centre of this photograph it is me personally.
3 Q. Is that a picture taken in Manjaca?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender this photograph for admission and
6 ask that it be placed on the Elmo.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Any objection?
8 MR. KAY: No objection.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 268 will be admitted.
10 MR. TIEGER: Sir, can you point out where you are, where you appear in
11 this photograph?
12 A. This is me.
13 Q. Do you know about how long after you arrived in Manjaca this
14 photograph was taken?
15 A. Maybe about a month, a month and a half.
16 Q. Thank you, sir. Mr. Besic, did you ever see Dule Tadic in Omarska?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Where were you when you saw him?
19 A. I was in the room where I spent all the time in Omarska.
20 Q. That was the room you pointed out to us on the model?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know the approximate date when you saw Dule Tadic?
23 A. I cannot remember the exact date, but it was summer in the range
24 between 16th and 19th June.
25 Q. Do you recall the approximate time of the day when you saw him?
1 A. In the afternoon somewhere around between 4.00 and 5.00, 4.00 and
2 5.00 there.
3 Q. That afternoon did you become generally aware that people from
4 outside the camp were coming to your area?
5 A. Of course, they were coming. The so-called coloured ones, that means
6 the ones in the camouflage uniforms, and the ones who were coming from
7 the front lines, and they were coming to some kind of furlough or
8 something, and then as they would come in they would beat people.
9 Q. Were prisoners particularly afraid of these people from outside the
11 A. For instance, the guards that were there, those were common people.
12 You know, they just take them from their homes so that they be guards.
13 Then they say, "Get inside, the coloured ones are coming", and
14 whoever was -- they would just cower so they would not be exposed and
15 the guards themselves feared them.
16 Q. Did some prisoners who had been outside the room when these persons
17 were thought to be coming to the camp come back to the room?
18 A. Right. There were people who were at that moment, for instance, they
19 were on the toilet, I remember Senad Garibovic. I think that he is
20 dead. I never saw him again. He was taken a few days later. He came
21 back all wet.
22 Q. At some point after that did you hear prisoners being called from
23 their rooms?
24 A. Yes, when it all quietened down, they started calling out inmates,
25 and I cannot give you the exact order. Eno Alic was called out, Emir
1 Karabasic and Jasko Hrnic. Jasko Hrnic was called out last. He was
2 with me in the same room. He was called out five or six times, and
3 they called him "Asko" about five or six times and he would not
5 Then Dule Tadic came to the door and said, "Jasko, get out. I
6 know you are in there. I will kill you all". And Jasko stood up and
7 went to the door. As he was leaving, I saw Dusko Tadic. When Jasko
8 opened the door, I could see Dusko Tadic clearly. It all lasted for
9 about 10 seconds, maybe longer. I just looked up and saw who it was
10 and I knew who Dule Tadic was because I knew his voice. I knew he was
12 Q. Mr. Besic, do you recall where Jasko Hrnic's place in the room was?
13 A. Yes, Jasko's place was under the table.
14 Q. Where was that table located?
15 A. The table was just around the corner, left from the door about three
17 Q. Before Jasko Hrnic left the room, did you hear sounds coming from
18 outside the room which indicated what was happening to the other
19 prisoners who had been called?
20 A. Yes, probably they had already come out, Eno Alic and Emir
21 Karabasic. You could hear screams from pain and blows, like animal
22 screams, as if they were not people any more, but animals. People can
23 be like a horse, horses are being castrated. I do not know if I
24 should explain how horses are being castrated.
25 Q. Do you recall what Jasko Hrnic's condition was before he was called
1 out? Had he been beaten previously?
2 A. Yes, he was beaten and he spent maybe 10 days in that small garage.
3 Q. Where had he been before Omarska?
4 A. He was caught on Benkovac.
5 Q. After the numerous times that Jasko Hrnic was called out and he
6 finally moved toward the door to get out, did he do anything before he
7 left the room?
8 A. He said something to the people around him and he put on as some sort
9 of protection when he was going to be beaten.
10 Q. During the time that Jasko was being called out before and not
11 responding, was the door open or closed?
12 A. Closed.
13 Q. The door was opened when Jasko finally left the room?
14 A. Yes, exactly. Jasko opened the door. At the very door there was a
15 lot of people right around the door. They were almost on top of each
16 other so that you could not just go straight to the door. You had to
17 walk and avoid people's feet or hands or heads.
18 Q. Do you know how long the door remained opened after Jasko left?
19 A. When Jasko went out you could see Dule clearly and, as he was
20 stepping over the doorstep, Dule cursed his mother and you could hear
21 a blow.
22 Q. Were you able to see the blow or just hear it?
23 A. Only heard it.
24 Q. Do you recall what Dule Tadic was wearing?
25 A. Dule Tadic was wearing a camouflage uniform and maybe a beard of, you
1 know, 10, 14 days, 12 days.
2 Q. After Jasko left the room, could you hear more sounds coming from the
3 area of the hangar floor?
4 A. You could hear a "Bite", a "Suck", "Where is your karate now?" Then
5 screams "Hit him" and such.
6 Q. When you say "screams", do you mean people shouting at the prisoners
7 or prisoners crying out in pain?
8 A. I suppose those were the people who are the perpetrators. I think
9 that they were yelling, and I cannot tell you who it was that they
10 were yelling at or shouting at.
11 Q. Did you hear the sounds of prisoners crying out?
12 A. Yes, I already explained, as screams, people were screaming like
13 animals, "Why me? What have I done to you?" It was all kinds -- you
14 cannot imagine what situation it was like. It is in that moment, I do
15 not know, we were about -- I am sure we were in this camp 3,000. I do
16 not know if anybody was even breathing loudly, let alone listen. I
17 think that it was all lasted for about an hour, somewhere around
18 there, but I do not know if there is a single inmate in Omarska who
19 did not have it up to here of all that. I do not think that there is
20 a single man who does not remember that incident. I think that
21 whoever mentions Omarska, every inmate thinks of that first.
22 Q. Mr. Besic, the translation we received says that you heard a bite and
23 a suck, did that mean you heard commands given to "bite" and to
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you remember whether or not music was played during or after the
3 A. I remember that music was played afterwards. It was afterwards that
4 I heard music. When it was all over, one of those (and this was
5 perhaps some 20, 25 metres away from me), I heard somebody call out
6 "Two", he said, "I want two volunteers, strong men, we will do nothing
7 to you, you will be all right", and I guess they went out. I do not
8 know who went out. Nobody went out from my room. But when that was
9 all over, then the music was played and the guard came and opened the
10 door, and he said, "Now it is all right, it is all over and they have
11 been taken to the hospital".
12 Q. Mr. Besic, during this approximate hour period that you heard the
13 screaming and the crying, was it during that time that you heard two
14 volunteers or two strong men being called for?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Mr. Besic, do you see Dule Tadic in court today?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Can you point him out and tell us what he is wearing, please?
19 A. The gentleman has a green jacket, an off-white shirt and
20 multi-coloured tie.
21 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may the record reflect the identification of the
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes. The record will reflect that the witness has
24 identified the accused.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. Nothing further.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Cross-examination?
2 Cross-examined by MR. KAY
3 MR. KAY: Yes, your Honour. (To the witness): Mr. Besic, from what you
4 have told the Court this morning, you were not a particular friend of
5 Dusko Tadic, is that right?
6 A. It is not that I was not a particular friend of his. We were not
7 very close friends, but we never met in the street without greeting
8 each other, but we were not business partners. I did not turn to him
9 for some business and neither did he to me, but if I would be alone in
10 a coffee bar and if Dule would turn up, he would sit at my table and
11 the other way around; if I found him in a coffee bar, then I would sit
12 at his table.
13 Q. I think you told us that you may have been at a table with him in a
14 coffee bar once a year or not even once a year?
15 A. No.
16 Q. That is what you told us this morning?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So it does not seem that you spoke to him particularly very often
19 during the course of a year, do you agree?
20 A. Well, yes, over the last seven or eight years, probably less, but
21 once before that we used often to swim together, to take -- I used to
22 take a swim together in a pool that we had there.
23 Q. So was that a long time ago?
24 A. Well, some six or seven years ago. Let's strike out the wartime, so
25 let us not count that, that is, so it would be five or six years prior
1 to 1990.
2 Q. From what you say, you did not associate with his friends, is that
4 A. From time to time, yes. I had my company and he had his own friends.
5 I socialised with his elder brother.
6 Q. By his elder brother, do you mean an older brother or his eldest
8 A. I mean elder brother, Ljubo. That is the one senior to Dule.
9 Ljubomir is his name.
10 Q. What I would like to deal with now is where you were in this room,
11 the electrical workshop, in the hangar building. It seems from what
12 you indicated on the model that you were in the left-hand corner as
13 you came in through the door of that room?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. So you were against the wall that was furthest from the door?
16 A. No, no.
17 Q. Did you indicate to us that the corner where the wall at the back of
18 the room is to be found -----
19 A. No, I showed that I was not in that direction. I was on the left
20 side by the wall in the corner. I was about one metre away from it,
21 if one measures from the upper side.
22 Q. So you were one metre away from the back wall?
23 A. Yes, towards the door.
24 Q. Was there anyone else who sat behind you in that spare space of one
1 A. One or two perhaps. I cannot say whether one or two, but I was not
2 on the wall.
3 Q. Were you sitting on the floor or on a bench?
4 A. Yes, on the floor.
5 Q. So in between that position where you were and the door, there were a
6 large number of people?
7 A. Yes, all of them sitting.
8 Q. This is not a room where the wall on that side goes straight down to
9 the door?
10 A. Yes -- no, no, not straight. There is a corner.
11 Q. In that corner there had been a table, is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It was in that place that Jasko Hrnic used to sit?
14 A. Jasko Hrnic, at that moment Jasko Hrnic was sitting under the table
15 or, rather, right in front of the table. He spent a lot of time on
16 the table because he was often beaten and on the table he could
17 stretch. He felt more comfortable on it.
18 Q. When he was under the table, did someone else or a number of other
19 people then sit on top of the table?
20 A. Yes, it depended on the time, on the situation, who would then jump
21 up on the table, to that place.
22 Q. The door to this room was on that side of the wall?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you recollect whether the door opened outwards or inwards into
25 the room?
1 A. It opens outwards if you look from out the room. If you are entering
2 the room, then you open the door towards you.
3 Q. Can you remember which side of the door the hinges were? Were they on
4 the wall side or the side of the -----
5 A. As you enter from the large room into the small room, into the
6 electrical workshop, then the handle was on the right-hand side and
7 there was the frame on the other side, on the left side, and with
8 hinges. Of course, it was the other way around as you went out of the
10 Q. So the handle was on the side where the wall was?
11 A. No, no.
12 Q. The hinges then were on the side where the wall was?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is that right?
15 THE INTERPRETER: We are sorry, we could not hear the witness.
16 MR. KAY: Sir, if you could get closer to the microphone, the translation
17 department -----
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, yes, of course I can, sure.
19 Q. The hinge then, was that on the wall side of the room?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you recollect about how many people were in this room on this day
22 that the names were called out?
23 A. About 200.
24 Q. Your recollection is that the first name to be called was Eno Alic,
25 is that right?
1 A. I did not claim that Eno Alic was the first one to be called out. I
2 only know that Jasko Hrnic was the last one to be called out and that
3 he went out last.
4 Q. Jasko Hrnic left from your room, is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All you can remember is that he was the last man to leave?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The other two, Eno Alic and Emir Karabasic, where were they?
9 A. In other rooms which I do not know, but I do know that beatings and
10 the noise began when they came out. So this one was called out five
11 or six times and he would not come out because of what normally
12 happened when a man would be called out. So, he would not come out
13 when he was called out. Then when Dule Tadic said, "Come out, I know
14 that you are there. I'll kill you all" and then a commotion began
15 among the detainees, and people began to say, "Jasko, go out because
16 he is going to kill us".
17 Q. But the door to this room was closed?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It was only opened when Jasko Hrnic left the room?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The door was only opened to allow him out of that room?
22 A. Yes, but the conditions were not normal. One could not go out
23 regularly, out of that room. As, for instance, here in this
24 courtroom, it takes time to get out of the room, every step at a time,
25 and Jasko had to, from a distance Jasko had to step over people, then
1 open the door and then there was still time while as he crossed over
2 the threshold, because there were too many people around. You could
3 not approach the door normally. You had to feel it, you could not put
4 your whole foot down or else you would tread on somebody's foot or
5 head or hand or such like.
6 Q. You are saying that at that door you saw Dusko Tadic?
7 A. Yes, when the door opened.
8 Q. You did not see any other guard?
9 A. No.
10 Q. You say it is Dusko Tadic who was doing the talking to Jasko Hrnic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Your position is right down there at the end of the room sitting down
13 on the ground ---
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. -- looking over those bodies between you and the door?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. This was a door that was only open for a short period of time?
18 A. Yes, 10 seconds or so.
19 Q. You have made up this story that you saw Dusko Tadic at the door, Mr.
21 A. That is not true, and I have sworn that I will speak the truth. Sir,
22 I am sorry. You are paid to do your job and I am doing because of
23 ethical considerations, because I have a moral obligation to my people
24 and my state.
25 Q. You were a relative of Jasko Hrnic, is that right?
1 A. No, his wife was a relative of mine.
2 Q. Jasko was your cousin's husband, is that right?
3 A. The daughter, the uncle's daughter -- brother's brother's daughter.
4 Q. He was a man you were very closely acquainted with?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. You knew him very well?
7 A. Relatively.
8 Q. When Jasko Hrnic stood up to leave that room and walk through the
9 people, you had to look through him because he was going towards the
10 door, is that right?
11 A. Sir, I am ready to attend a reconstruction of these events on the
12 site, if somebody guarantees my life and my security, and I can
13 explain how it happened. I can do it also on this model here.
14 Q. You are not a big man, Mr. Besic, are you? You are below average
15 height? What sort of height are you?
16 A. 167.
17 Q. Jasko Hrnic, was he a big man?
18 A. Sure. He was, I guess, your height.
19 Q. Of large build?
20 A. Not really, not very largely built, but he was tall.
21 Q. He looked a big and strong man?
22 A. He did not look strong.
23 Q. The Court has the photograph there and yes ----
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, 24.4.91?
25 MR. KAY: Yes. (To the witness): This room, the electrical workshop,
1 on this occasion was not a room where any of the guards or anyone else
2 during this incident stepped into that room?
3 A. No, no.
4 Q. No. They did not reveal themselves in that room?
5 A. No.
6 Q. They appeared to be concealing themselves from you in that room?
7 A. They were hiding everything. They were hiding everything and lying.
8 Q. When you say that you could see clearly the figure the other side of
9 the door as being Dusko Tadic, that simply is not true, Mr. Besic, is
11 A. Would you not recognise a man if you knew him when he was 12, 18, 20,
12 25, 30, 35 or 40? Someone, I mean, just a glimpse suffices from 10 or
13 perhaps 12 metres. It suffices to recognise him. Do you have to
14 stare at a man whom you have known for 30, 40 years?
15 Q. You are telling us you recognised him because you heard stories about
16 this incident ---
17 A. No.
18 Q. -- after it happened?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Was there not a lot of discussion in Omarska after this day?
21 A. What a discussion? Nobody talked about this event the whole night.
22 Half of the people were simply silent about this event. Nobody dared
23 speak out about the incident.
24 Q. You talked about it with others in those days in Omarska before you
25 left that camp?
1 A. Well, there were some comments amongst ourselves.
2 Q. The next camp you were in, Manjaca?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Again you talked about this incident with others?
5 A. Sure, yes, not only about that incident, about things that were going
6 on, because in Manjaca we were safer. The Red Cross came to visit us
7 every day. We were not ill-treated there. So that we rest a little
8 bit and we could chat.
9 Q. You talked to a man called G. Do you know who I mean by G when I use
10 that initial in this courtroom?
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Besic, do not mention his name, please.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, I guess so, yes, I do.
13 MR. KAY: You know you talked about this incident to him in Manjaca, that
14 is right, is it not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. He and others had said to you it was Dusko Tadic who was there?
17 A. No, I was not told that. You asked me, did you see anything, and
18 could I not see anything because I could not. It was simply in front
19 of the mass of people. Had we gone into any detail, we, no, that is
20 not true. Let me tell you, the man I talked to has very limited
21 communication ability.
22 Q. You picked up this story from others that it was Dusko Tadic who was
23 there. That is why you have been prepared to come along and say of
24 this single sighting of him in Omarska that he was there?
25 A. I have already told you that I had not made up this story, that it
1 was an honour for me to be here, and you are here to invent and
2 orchestrate things and I was there on the spot.
3 Q. To try to say that you knew his voice when you had hardly spoken to
4 him in the previous period is a way to try to improve your
5 identification of the guard at the door?
6 A. I am telling you that I can recognise him again by his voice.
7 Q. So what you are saying to us, and this is your evidence, that the
8 calling out and the taking of that man from the room was not by any
9 other guard, it was by Dusko Tadic?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no further questions.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
13 Re-examined by MR. TIEGER
14 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. Mr. Besic, in the four or five years
15 before the outbreak of the conflict, did you spend a lot of your time
16 in central Kozarac?
17 A. Yes, and I spent the last two years before the war, about two,
18 two-and-a-half years before the war, in Kozarac.
19 Q. Were you essentially there every day?
20 A. Every day, every day in the very centre.
21 Q. Did you see Dule Tadic regularly in central Kozarac during that time?
22 A. Yes, when he would pass by. He was building his coffee bar then, so
23 he often went through the centre of Kozarac.
24 Q. Mr. Besic, from the position you were sitting in, were other
25 prisoners blocking your view of the face of Dusko Tadic in the
2 A. No, I mean, one is standing, another one is sitting at a distance of
3 seven or eight metres, and a man who is sitting down cannot conceal,
4 cannot obstruct, the view of a person who is standing.
5 Q. Mr. Besic, do you know exactly in seconds how long that door was
7 A. I have already said about 10 seconds or so. It might have remained
8 opened after that but, as far as I remember, it was not open
10 Q. As Jasko Hrnic left the room, did he block a portion of the doorway
11 at some point as he was leaving?
12 A. I can show it to you. Jasko Hrnic was moving towards the door, not
13 directly. His left side, his left hand was closest to the door. So
14 he did not block it. He had to pick out where he could find some room
15 to move and he zig-zagged. He could not walk step after step after
16 step. He had to choose so he was zig-zagging through the room,
17 picking out some free space on the floor to step there.
18 Q. Did Dule Tadic stand in the doorway and block the door as Jasko
19 attempted to leave?
20 A. As Jasko is coming out, Dule stepped backward, opened the door and
21 Jasko was moving ahead, that is, making for the threshold, and then I
22 saw Tadic make a step backward. Jasko comes out. This one curses his
23 mother and we hear a blow.
24 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, sir. That is all I have.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay, any recross?
1 MR. KAY: Nothing arises, thank you, your Honour.
2 Examined by the Court
3 JUDGE STEPHEN: Witness, I thought you told us that it was Hrnic who
4 opened the door, made his way through the bodies and opened the door,
5 is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So that until he had opened the door you could not see who was
9 A. No.
10 JUDGE STEPHEN: Thank you.
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Besic, let me put it this way, do you recall the
12 size of A17, of the room that you were in, in metres, from the length,
13 from the door to the wall?
14 A. From the door to the back wall, eight perhaps 10 metres -- I cannot
15 be more exact -- or perhaps nine maybe. I really, I really cannot say
16 exactly. Eight times five.
17 Q. I am sure it is available to us in some other form. It is not clear
18 to me exactly where you were sitting. I did not get the best view.
19 Can you point out for me one more time where you were sitting, please?
20 You tell me so I can understand.
21 A. Yes, I can, I can. I can show it, or do you want me to tell you?
22 Q. Tell me -- show me, if you can, on that model and let us see if we
23 can get a view.
24 A. OK. I was here.
25 Q. Wait a minute. OK. How far?
1 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
2 Q. Let me see. We have a floor plan here and it is not exact
3 necessarily, but if it is A17 -- would you say that it was
4 approximately a fourth of the distance from the back wall to where we
5 have heard from other testimony a table was as the wall made an L
7 A. You mean from here?
8 Q. Yes, sir.
9 A. How far I was from there? Two-fourths or two-thirds towards the back
11 Q. Two-thirds towards the back wall. So you were two-thirds away from
12 the door, is that what you are telling me?
13 A. From the door, I am talking about the corner, I was about six or
14 seven metres away from the door.
15 Q. OK. So that corner you are referring to, you were about two-thirds
16 back from that towards the back wall?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. OK. All we need is a measurement from the corner and we will
19 understand that. Thank you. You may be seated. You indicated in a
20 response to a question from Mr. Kay that you had spoken with witness G
21 about this incident, is that correct, in Manjaca?
22 A. Yes -- no, not me personally. We happen upon each other, we could
23 walk, talk about it, not only about that, but about all the events
24 because then we had much more opportunity there and more freedom of
25 movement in Manjaca, within that enclosure which was called the camp.
1 Q. Did he talk with you about the incident?
2 A. Yes, he talked about some unofficial things, things that one is
3 reluctant to talk about or reluctant to even remember, but his
4 abilities are very limited. He often swore when people would ask him
5 about it and he was very reluctant to talk about the things he had
6 gone through.
7 Q. I may follow that up when we return from recess? We will stand in
8 recess for 20 minutes.
9 (11.30 a.m.)
10 (The Court adjourned for a short time)
11 (11.50 a.m.)
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have no further questions. Additional questions
13 by Mr. Tieger or Mr. Kay? Mr. Tieger?
14 MR. TIEGER: If I may, your Honour?
15 Further examined by MR. TIEGER
16 Q. Mr. Besic, I may have asked a question earlier that was not clear.
17 If I may, let me ask you about a few details of what you saw as Jasko
18 Hrnic was leaving the room. First of all, is it correct that as Jasko
19 Hrnic was leaving the room he was moving slowly and awkwardly because
20 he was moving through a number of people in the room?
21 A. Yes, yes, exactly.
22 Q. During that time before he got to the door, was the door open or
24 A. He reached for the door from a distance because he is tall, so he
25 reached out, and that way he had the stability too, because he was
1 moving zig-zag and he had to be careful where he was stepping.
2 Q. After he opened the door, was he able to walk right through it or did
3 he have to step around or by a prisoner or prisoners to get out?
4 A. Right, he opened the door before he got to the door. He just reached
5 out. The door was open while he made additional steps so that he
6 could reach the door.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is what I do not understand. Did Mr. Hrnic
8 open the door or did someone else open the door?
9 A. Mr. Hrnic.
10 MR. TIEGER: As Jasko Hrnic moved to go through the door, through the
11 doorway, did Dule Tadic step back?
12 A. No, when the door was open Dule Tadic was standing in front of the
13 door and Jasko was still inside. He had not come out. He needed one
14 more step to reach the threshold.
15 Q. At some point as Jasko moved through the doorway did Dule Tadic step
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At some point after that, the door was again closed?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It was at some point during that process that you were seeing Dule
21 Tadic, during that entire -----
22 A. Yes, in the previous process I saw Dule Tadic.
23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, sir.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay?
25 MR. KAY: Nothing arises, your Honour.
1 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour -- no, I am sorry.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No one has any questions. Is there any objection to
3 Mr. Besic being permanently excused?
4 MR. KAY: No, your Honour.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Besic, you are permanently excused. You may
6 leave. Thank you for coming.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
8 (The witness withdrew)
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, would you call your next witness?
10 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, the next witness is Husein Hodzic.
11 MR. HUSEIN HODZIC, called.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: When we resume this afternoon, we will resume in
13 closed session and we will probably be in closed session for maybe 10
14 or 15 minutes to discuss matters that we discussed yesterday. So when
15 we return from our lunch break, we will be in closed for 10 or 15
16 minutes to discuss those matters. Then we will go into open session.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Hodzic, would you please take that oath that is
18 being given to you?
19 THE WITNESS [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
20 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
21 (The witness was sworn)
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. You may be seated.
23 Examined by MR. TIEGER
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour. Sir, what is your name?
1 A. Hodzic, Husein.
2 Q. In what year were you born?
3 A. 1965.
4 Q. Where were you born?
5 A. In the town of Kozarac.
6 Q. What is your nationality?
7 A. Muslim.
8 Q. In what part of Kozarac did you live?
9 A. A part that was called the old town.
10 Q. Is that very close to the central street of Kozarac?
11 A. Yes, it was in the immediate vicinity of the main street.
12 Q. Did you go to school in Kozarac?
13 A. Yes, elementary school.
14 Q. After you completed your education, did you serve in the JNA?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In what year did you serve and where were you?
17 A. 1985, in Montenegro, in Danilovgrad near Titograd.
18 Q. Did you then return to Kozarac?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What was your occupation?
21 A. I was a mining technician.
22 Q. How many mines are located in the area of Kozarac or Prijedor?
23 A. There is a system of mines, that is, the ore Ljubija and that was
24 Omarska, Ljubija and Tomasica iron ore.
25 Q. Those are operated by the same company or organisation?
1 A. Yes, the same company, the same organisation. It is the mines of the
2 iron ore Ljubija.
3 Q. In which of the mines did you work?
4 A. I worked both in Omarska and in Ljubija.
5 Q. In which mine did you last work before the war?
6 A. In the iron ore mine of Omarska.
7 Q. Approximately, when did you stop working at Omarska?
8 A. Seven to 10 days before the very attack on Kozarac, before the
9 outbreak of war.
10 Q. Were you working on the last day that you were present at Omarska?
11 A. That day there was no production, it did not exist. We just sat in
12 the room of our administration. We were foremen and it was the
13 so-called white house. That was the room where there would be the
14 miners and us, the foremen.
15 Q. Did anything unusual happen on that date at the mine?
16 A. Yes -- and it surprised me -- there was, arms were distributed.
17 Q. Who were the arms distributed to?
18 A. Mostly to people of Serbian, in fact, all men of Serb ethnic national
20 Q. Mr. Hodzic, do you see the model in front of you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you recognise that as showing a portion of the Omarska mine
24 A. Yes, that is the administration building and the restaurant and
25 workshop for repair of machinery. Behind is the white house which was
1 where the roll call was being made for the miners and for us, and
2 then to the left the small red building is what we called the wash
3 house, where the equipment was to be washed after the shift whether
4 from mud, from earth.
5 Q. Is the big concrete area on which those buildings are sitting used in
6 the course of the production efforts or maintenance efforts at the
7 mining facility?
8 A. Yes. It was a parking lot, well, dumper truck and other equipment
9 and trucks after the end of a shift.
10 Q. The white house that you refer to, in addition to the roll calls
11 which took place there for miners, were there offices there that were
12 used by supervisors?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is that where your office was?
15 A. The window to the right. The first room as you walked in, that was
16 my office.
17 Q. Mr. Hodzic, do you know Dule Tadic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How long have you known him?
20 A. Since my 10th year.
21 Q. How was it that you happened to know him as a child?
22 A. Since Dusko Tadic was an athlete, he was a karate master and all
23 children of Kozarac, including myself, were looking at him as a great
24 man, an athlete, and maybe subconsciously we also wanted to do that
25 sport. So that from an early age I knew him very well. For those
1 reasons and in addition he also lived in Kozarac where I lived, so
2 that I knew him well.
3 Q. As you grew up, were your relations with him friendly up to the time
4 of the tensions preceding the war?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Would the two of you, for example, greet each over when you met on
7 the street or in cafes?
8 A. Yes. For the most part, yes, when we would encounter each other,
9 maybe not shake hands every time, but we would greet each, which was
10 with us "Hello".
11 Q. Did you know his parents?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you know his brothers?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you know his wife?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Her occupation, for example?
18 A. You mean the wife?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. She was a nurse in the dispensary in a health centre in Kozarac.
21 Q. I would like to ask you also about a few other people from the area.
22 Did you know Emir Karabasic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What was his occupation?
25 A. He was an active policeman.
1 Q. Did you know Jasko Hrnic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was he a well-known or popular person in Kozarac?
4 A. Yes, he was. He had a transportation company. He also rode motor
5 cycles. He was quite well known in Kozarac.
6 Q. I am just curious, do you happen to remember the colour of the motor
7 cycle he had just before the war?
8 A. Red and black. I am not exactly sure, but his cousin was killed on
9 that motor cycle, so then after that he stopped riding it.
10 Q. Did you know Enver Alic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were you related to Enver Alic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. He was your uncle?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were the three persons I mentioned, Emir Karabasic, Jasko Hrnic and
17 Enver Alic good friends?
18 A. Yes, they were.
19 Q. These three people were all Muslims, is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did Dule Tadic know these three people?
22 A. Yes, he knew them excellently.
23 Q. At different times were you together with one or the other of these
24 people and Dule Tadic at the same time?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may I have this photograph tendered as Exhibit
2 269 for identification, please? Mr. Hodzic, do you recognise the
3 persons shown in this photograph?
4 A. Yes, on this photograph are Emir Karabasic and Dusko Tadic.
5 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I would tender this photograph as Exhibit 269
6 for admission, and ask that it be placed on the screen.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Is there any objection?
8 MR. KAY: No objection, your Honour.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Exhibit 269 will be admitted.
10 MR. TIEGER: Using the pointer, Mr. Hodzic, can you just point to Emir
11 Karabasic? I am sorry, did you hear the question?
12 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone is not on.
13 MR. TIEGER: I am sorry, thank you. Mr. Hodzic with the pointer can you
14 show us Emir Karabasic and Dusko Tadic?
15 A. (The witness indicated on the photograph).
16 Q. Thank you, sir. For the record, your Honour, the witness pointed to
17 the man on the right as Emir Karabasic and the man on the left as
18 Dusko Tadic.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes.
20 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Hodzic, first of all, during the period of time after the
21 elections of 1990 and before the outbreak of conflict, were there
22 increasing tensions between Muslims and Serbs?
23 A. I did not quite understand the question regarding tension. Yes, there
24 was. After the elections, already there were signs of tensions
25 between Muslims and Serbs.
1 Q. Before the outbreak of the conflict, did you notice whether there was
2 any change in Dule Tadic's relationship with many of his Muslim
4 A. Yes, one could notice that.
5 Q. Did he begin to associate primarily with one ethnic group?
6 A. Yes, at that time for the most part almost exclusively he associated
7 with people of Serb nationality.
8 Q. Did you have an opportunity to see who was frequenting his cafe?
9 A. Members of the so-called Yugoslav People's Army, but at that time
10 they were not members of that army because they wore different
11 insignia with military, in military vehicles.
12 Q. Did you see persons of that army frequenting the cafe?
13 A. Yes. As they come, arrived, parking on the pavement in front of his
14 cafe and then walk inside.
15 Q. In what sorts of vehicles did they arrive?
16 A. These vehicles were Pitzgauers from different company owners, but
17 not with the insignia of JNA, of the Yugoslav People's Army.
18 Q. What kind of insignias did you see on those vehicles?
19 A. Serbian insignia, with four Cyrillic Ss or the Serb tri-colour.
20 Q. Mr. Hodzic, I noticed that you referred to the Pitzgauers. I do not
21 know if that has been explained in court before, but perhaps you can
22 tell us what a Pitzgauer is?
23 A. It is a military vehicle. It is a field vehicle which can go off
24 roads, village roads, then high inclines if there is snow on the road.
25 In the back of the vehicle you can fit up to 10 people, up to about
1 10, which means something, six to 10 people. In front there is only
2 one seat for the driver and another one.
3 Q. Thank you, sir. One more point of clarification, is this a vehicle
4 with wheels or with tracks?
5 A. With wheels.
6 Q. Is it an armoured vehicle?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Do you know whether or not Dusko Tadic left Kozarac shortly or
9 immediately before the attack on Kozarac?
10 A. He left Kozarac on the eve of the attack on Kozarac.
11 Q. Did all Serbs in Kozarac leave?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Were some of them in the shelters with Muslims while the attack was
14 taking place?
15 A. Yes, they were.
16 Q. Were you at home when the attack began on May 24th?
17 A. Yes, I was at home.
18 Q. Did you spend that day and the next day at home in your cellar?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. From time to time did you come out of the cellar to see what the
21 situation was?
22 A. Yes, when there would be a lull, a pause from all that shelling, then
23 people would come out into the streets to register each other and to
24 figure out how long it was going to last. We were looking for answers
25 from each other, what we should do and such, and that was
2 Q. Did you go to the area of Brdjani at one point?
3 A. Yes. The next day, on Monday, there was a large influx of people, of
4 convoys, from Trnopolje, from Sivci, Menkovic on tractors, on horse
5 carriages and on foot, and then we panicked and we all were looking
6 for some rescue and there was a forest. We all wanted to hide there.
7 Q. Were there large groups of people trying to escape into the forest?
8 A. Huge numbers.
9 Q. On Tuesday, May 26th, did you surrender to Serb forces?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. About what time did you begin to do that? Did you leave your home
12 for that purpose?
13 A. In the morning, late morning.
14 Q. Did you join a group or column of surrendering people?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Where was that column going?
17 A. That column went in the direction of Prijedor.
18 Q. How did this group of surrendering Muslims indicate that it was
20 A. Up front in the column there was a white flag and that was a sign
21 that we were surrendering peacefully.
22 Q. As the column proceeded in the direction of Prijedor, where did it
24 A. The column stopped in Susici.
25 Q. At any particular point in Susici?
1 A. Yes, there was a bus stop and it was popularly known as "Limenka"
2 which means that it was made from metal sheets -- "lim" means tin --
3 and people were waiting there. It was like a shelter.
4 Q. Were there Serb forces waiting there as well?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How were they dressed?
7 A. They had different uniforms on, different combinations, plus civilian
8 clothes. Even I remember one especially, he had a bandana and it said
9 "UN" on it. It looked like anything but the Yugoslav Army.
10 Q. Were there ways other than the way these people were dressed that
11 made it appear different from the Yugoslav Army which you knew?
12 A. There was the insignia, there was a white eagle and then the Kokarda,
13 the four Cyrillic Ss, and then that insignia "UN" is not the same as
14 the Yugoslav People's Army which had a clear insignia with the five
15 pointed star. A member of that army had to be well trimmed and shaven
16 and not with long hair and a beard. I was a member of that Yugoslav
17 People's Army in 1985.
18 Q. Were the Serbian forces there at Limenka armed?
19 A. Yes, they were armed.
20 Q. Were there military vehicles there?
21 A. Yes, there were military vehicles. There were armoured vehicles and
22 personal weapons, infantry weapons.
23 Q. Did you see any evidence of prior shelling?
24 A. On the road there were a large number of cases and casings from
25 shells, I suppose that were used to shell in the previous two days.
1 Q. At Limenka, were Muslim men being separated from women and children?
2 A. Yes, that happened first.
3 Q. What age limit was there for the designation of who would go with the
4 men and who would stay with the children?
5 A. 15, 16, even up to 70.
6 Q. Who were you there with?
7 A. I was with my then six year old son.
8 Q. Had your wife passed away three years earlier?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. While there were you confronted by a Serbian soldier who knew you and
11 whom you knew?
12 A. Yes, my colleague from work, Cedo Cunjak.
13 Q. What did Cedo Cunjak say to you?
14 A. He cursed my mother and said, "It is you I am waiting for".
15 Q. Did you attempt to reason with Cunjak or appeal to him in some way?
16 A. I tried that, because he himself knew my situation, that I was an
17 only parent, I had that child and I was in a situation to beg. In
18 that moment he grabbed the child from me and he threw him on to the
19 bus and before -- and the child cried and he said, "Don't worry,
20 nothing will happen to you but something will happen to your father".
21 Q. It was Cunjak who said that to your son?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Around that point did you see someone else you knew from before the
25 A. Yes, I saw Goran Borovnica who lived in Kozarac who was a waiter in
1 Kozarac, that is a Kozarac inhabitant, Goran Borovnica.
2 Q. How was Borovnica dressed?
3 A. He had a camouflage uniform and a cap which covered his ears,
4 unshaven, untidy, with a machine gun in his hands, in a hand, and
5 another weapon -- an anti-tank weapon which he had over his shoulder.
6 Q. In the years that you knew Borovnica, did you notice if there was
7 anything unusual about his appearance?
8 A. Yes, yes, it was quite characteristic, because when he would look,
9 his eyes were looking in different directions, one in one direction
10 and one in the other one.
11 Q. Did Borovnica question you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And did he appear to be deciding what to do with you?
14 A. While Borovnica was talking to me his first question was where are my
15 weapons, which I never had, and I told him that I had no weapons, that
16 the only weapons in my house were the weapons of my father who was a
17 hunter and he had a licence for it. He was standing there looking at
18 me, and I realised that he was simply trying to figure out what to do
19 with me, to liquidate me or to spare me. At moment he said: "Get on
20 to the bus."
21 Q. While you were on the bus were you spotted again by Cedo Cunjak?
22 A. Yes, I was curious. I wanted to see what was happening to other
23 people arriving there. At that moment this Cedo Cunjak was passing by
24 the bus on the side where I was sitting, looked up at my face very
25 angrily, went round the bus, went on to the bus, and again indulged
1 in his primitive checkpoint swearing and he took me off the bus again.
2 Q. When he took you off the bus, did he express surprise that you were
3 still alive?
4 A. Yes. What happened first was, if I may quote him, "Fuck your mother,
5 could you still be alive."
6 Q. Did Cunjak hit you and then take you across the road?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was there then a discussion between Cunjak and another Serb about
9 both you and your brother?
10 A. When Cunjak took me from the bus across the road Nedjo Kos, the
11 driver of a bus for Autotransport where my brother Hikmet worked was
12 standing there. Since we are somewhat similar he recognised me
13 immediately, and asked Cedo, rather said to Cedo, "If he's like his
14 brother, then they ought to be polished off right away." That clearly
15 meant, to "polish off", it meant to liquidate us.
16 Q. Did they go with you in a search for your brother and eventually find
17 your brother?
18 A. Yes. Cedo Cunjak then ordered me to go from one bus to the other,
19 look for my brother and get him off that bus. I could not but do it
20 under the circumstances, but subconsciously I had made up my mind and
21 I said I would not point at my brother. If I have to die, he does not
22 have to.
23 Q. When you passed in the vicinity of your brother did he make a gesture
24 which brought attention to him and was recognised by them?
25 A. Yes, that fraternal link, that love, he simply could not resist, but
1 raised his head and asked: "What is it? What is it, Sendo?"
2 Q. After your brother was located, the person for whom Kos and Cunjak
3 that liquidated was intended, to whom were the two of you taken?
4 A. Across the road, which means in the direction of Kozarac/Prijedor, to
5 the left side of the paved road, the highway, Banja Luka/Prijedor,
6 there was Goran Borovnica waiting for us again.
7 Q. Did Borovnica question you and your brother with more detail this
9 A. Yes. He asked my brother the same question as he had asked of me
10 about the weapons, and my brother took out his licence for hunting
11 weapons and for personal weapons and told him: "This is all I have and
12 these are lawful weapons." Goran Borovnica took those two documents
13 and he said, "I will check that when we make a breakthrough at
14 Kozarac", and put them in his pocket.
15 Q. Were you and your brother put on the bus?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I am sorry, sir. At some point later on were you again taken off of
18 the bus once more and threatened with liquidation, but finally managed
19 to be on the bus when it began to move?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did the bus stop in the area of Ziko's restaurant?
22 A. Briefly, yes, briefly at the coffee which belonged to Ziko which we
23 called Ziko's pub.
24 Q. Was there a gathering of Serbian forces there?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How large and how well equipped?
2 A. There were super-well armed and there were very many of them, so any
3 attempt to escape or anything was out of the question.
4 Q. Was there also a large gathering of Muslim civilians there?
5 A. Yes, there was a concentration of an enormous number of women,
6 children, mixed with elderly. There was a large throng there. One
7 could not even think of a figure, but I should say thousands.
8 Q. From the area of Ziko's restaurant did the bus then transport you and
9 the other men to Keraterm?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were you held in Keraterm until the following night?
12 A. That day, the next evening we spent the night at Keraterm. Then the
13 following day we spent the whole day at Keraterm and it was only that
14 day in the evening, sometime in the late hours, we were again put on
15 buses and transferred.
16 Q. After you boarded those buses, where were you transferred to?
17 A. We were transferred to Omarska.
18 Q. After arrival in Omarska, Mr. Hodzic, where were you first held?
19 A. Prior to interrogation I was in room 15.
20 Q. How long were you in room 15?
21 A. Seven or 10 days, around 10 days.
22 Q. Where were you interrogated?
23 A. Who interrogated me, yes, I was interrogated in the administrative
24 building of my former company.
25 Q. Did you know the person who interrogated you before the war?
1 A. Yes, Rade Kovic.
2 Q. What nationality was he?
3 A. Serb.
4 Q. Were you beaten during the interrogation?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How long did the beating continue or last?
7 A. About an hour.
8 Q. Did Rade Kovic learn that you had formally been employed at the
9 Omarska mine?
10 A. Yes. When he asked me where I had worked I told him, here, in the
11 Omarska mine.
12 Q. What did he say when he learned that?
13 A. He then became even more hateful than before, so he swore, continued
14 with beating, "You Muslims working in Omarska in the Serb mine and
15 Serbs are at the employment bureau."
16 Q. How badly were you beaten during the interrogation?
17 A. So badly and so heavily that I still bear the effects of it. At that
18 moment he either broke my jaw, dislocated it, I could not check that
19 in Omarska to make an X-ray, but I still can hear my jaw, how
20 disagreeably it functions, as if something were broken.
21 Q. After the interrogation where were you held?
22 A. I was transferred to a room which we called "large room".
23 Q. Were both those rooms located in the hangar building?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. On the ground floor or the first floor?
1 A. The first floor.
2 Q. Your Honour, may I ask either Miss Sutherland or the usher -- I would
3 be happy to do it myself, if the Court would permit me -- to put the
4 first floor back on the model so the witness can indicate where his
5 rooms were?
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Usher.
7 MR. TIEGER: Thank you. Mr. Hodzic, I am going to ask you in just a
8 moment to leave your chair and indicate to us the rooms which you have
9 mentioned. I will ask you to bring that pointer on the table in front
10 of you and, in addition, put on the headphones which are located on
11 the table across from you. If you have occasion to respond to a
12 question if you could speak into the microphone to locate it at the
13 same table that would be helpful.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can I ask you then to get up and point out first where room 15 was?
16 Sir, if you could stand a bit to one side or the other so the Judges
17 -- I think moving back is helpful, so you do not block the Judges'
18 view. If you could show us again where room 15 was.
19 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
20 Q. For the record, can you read the numbers which are written on the
21 floor of the area which was room 15?
22 A. B23 and B8, they are the wash basins and the lavatory.
23 Q. I am sorry, sir, it appears the number may have been omitted. If you
24 could recite those numbers quickly once again?
25 A. B7 is room 15.
1 Q. Can you show us where the big room where you were moved after the
2 interrogation was?
3 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
4 Q. What number or numbers are written on the floor of that room?
5 A. B14.
6 Q. Now looking back at room 15, there appears to be a door on the right
7 side as you are now looking at the model. Do you see it?
8 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
9 Q. Looking to the right side of that, is there another door on the other
10 side of that room?
11 A. Yes, here.
12 Q. Was that door kept open or was it locked?
13 A. It was closed. It was locked.
14 Q. Therefore, prisoners from room 15 did not have access to the other
15 portion of the first floor on the other side of that door?
16 A. No, they could not pass through.
17 Q. In the big room that you indicated, were there guards posted by the
18 doorway on the first floor into that room?
19 A. No.
20 Q. How did prisoners get into that room?
21 A. The prisoners used the staircase which led to this large room on the
22 inside of the hangar.
23 Q. Were guards posted on the ground floor ----
24 A. Yes, they were on the ground floor.
25 Q. Looking back at the area of room 15, there are a series of smaller
1 doors, smaller areas passed room 15. What were those -- can you point
2 those areas out first?
3 A. This is the area where there were concrete troughs with water taps
4 where workers could wash their hands, wash off after a shift.
5 Q. Moving left down the building beyond room 15 -- I am sorry, let me
6 ask you this quickly. What is the area you just pointed to?
7 A. This is the area where shower booths, where the workers also after a
8 shift could take a shower, and they were shower booths.
9 Q. Looking further left beyond room 15, there is a corridor and then
10 there are rooms off that corridor, what were those rooms used for?
11 A. These were smaller rooms, something like offices which, before the
12 war, were used for various activities of the mine. One of those rooms
13 when it became a camp was used by guards, guarding us in the camp.
14 Q. As you continue down the corridor to the left, is there a large room
15 at the end, the room you are now indicating, what was that room used
17 A. This room here before the war was the design room for various
18 drawings, a draughts room that we used in the mine for design
20 Q. During the time Omarska was operated as a camp, was that room also
21 used to hold prisoners?
22 A. Yes. Yes, at that time there were detainees in that room.
23 Q. Finally, looking back once again to the area of the big room, there
24 are also rooms which appear to the left of that room. Can you
25 indicate those? To your left in the area down the corridor as you are
1 looking toward room 15, what were those rooms used for, the ones you
2 are now indicating?
3 A. These were offices also. I do not really -- I did not know who they
4 belonged to, but they are used as office premises of the mine and such
6 Q. During the operation of the Omarska as a camp for Muslim and Croat
7 prisoners, what were those rooms used for?
8 A. These two narrow rooms, they were the toilets, the two narrow ones,
9 and the others, even though we were not allowed to use them, but we
10 forced them open without a key and we would enter sometimes that room
11 when it would be overcrowded. It was always be crowded, but some
12 people used those rooms. I myself did not.
13 Q. Thank you, sir. You can take your seat again. Mr. Hodzic, can you
14 describe the general conditions in Omarska during the time you were
15 held there?
16 A. The living conditions in Omarska from that first basic fundamental
17 condition, drinking water, water that we used to drink, there was no
18 drinking water at all because I used to work myself in that mine and
19 we had never used it before. Those were industrial, it was industrial
20 water used to wash machinery, the pista and nothing else. During our
21 stay at the camp we drank that water and were happy when we had this
22 undrinkable water to drink because even that was in short supply.
23 Q. How many toilets were there available to workers before the war?
24 A. Before the war one shift had about 150 workers, 50 people, and it was
25 planned for that number to have a regular number of WCs, of toilets.
1 When it was a camp half of these WCs got blocked and we were thousands
3 Q. What was the result of -- let me ask you this. Even of the toilets
4 that worked or even referring to the toilets that worked, were
5 prisoners able to use those freely?
6 A. From time to time.
7 Q. What was the result of the absence of sufficient toilets and the fear
8 of using even those?
9 A. The consequence if I decided to use such a toilet, then it was
10 considerable. One could expect to be beaten up, to be hit, to be
11 battered. So many people simply chose not to and they used for the
12 purpose boots, some plastic canisters, even trousers, and then they
13 would wait for a moment. Sometimes there would be a decent guard who
14 would allow us to go out quickly and throw it away. That is how we
15 somehow managed, not easily, but we somehow managed.
16 Q. In addition to the beatings of prisoners who tried to use the toilet,
17 were there beatings on the way to get food?
18 A. Yes, that was a daily occurrence and nothing new. We had simply got
19 inured to it.
20 Q. Were prisoners called from their rooms and beaten or killed?
21 A. Yes, often.
22 Q. Did you see bodies in Omarska, bodies of Muslim prisoners?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know with what kind of transport, vehicle those bodies were
25 generally removed?
1 A. In vehicles which belonged to the Omarska mine, TAM, a small TAM, a
2 yellow one, a large FAP truck, but mostly the vehicles that belonged
3 to the mine.
4 Q. The TAM truck was a smaller truck, is that right, a smaller flat bed
6 A. Yes, yes smaller.
7 Q. The FAP truck which you referred to is a large vehicle?
8 A. Well, not that large, but large enough. Its carrying capacity was
9 about eight tonnes.
10 Q. Did you ever see the FAP truck or a FAP truck used to transport
11 bodies from Omarska camp?
12 A. Yes, once I saw that FAP truck, one could not load by hand the dead
13 bodies, so that a loader was brought up with a huge ladle, loading
14 ladle, and they then shoved those bodies there, so that this loading
15 ladle would lift them all and then throw them into the truck. I mean,
16 as they once used to load rock and stone, thus they did with those
17 dead bodies. That truck would sometimes be full of these bodies.
18 Some of them were already stiff, some were mutilated. They simply
19 were bodies no longer. That was sheer horror.
20 Q. Did you see that FAP truck shortly after a large group of new
21 prisoners had arrived from Hambarine in July?
22 A. I saw that truck then when a group of prisoners arrived from the area
23 of Hambarine and neighbouring villages.
24 Q. It was after their arrival you saw the truck loading those dead
25 bodies sometime after those prisoner had arrived?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will stand in recess until 2.30. As I indicated,
3 when we return we will be in closed session for 10 to 15 minutes.
4 (1.00 p.m.)
5 (Luncheon Adjourned)
7 (2.30 p.m.)
8 (Closed Session)
13 pages 4123-4139 redacted – closed session
1 (3.20 p.m.)
2 (Short Adjournment)
3 (3.30 p.m.)
5 (Open session)
6 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are going to continue straight through until 5.30
7 since we have been busy in closed session taking care of matters. The
8 Court reporter will not mind that? Very good.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, are you going to call your next witness,
10 or we have not finished with Mr. Besic?
11 MR. TIEGER: Mr. Hodzic.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am sorry, I do not have his name here. OK. Very
13 good. Ask him to come in.
14 MR. HUSEIN HODZIC, recalled.
15 Examined by MR. TIEGER, continued.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You may be seated, sir. Mr. Tieger?
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour.
18 Mr. Hodzic, just a couple of quick matters about some things
19 you discussed earlier. First you mentioned at one point that the
20 water which had been previously used for industrial purposes, such as
21 to wash the pista, was used in camp for drinking water by the
22 prisoners. When you refer to washing the pista before the war, were
23 you referring to the entire concrete area where the large machinery
24 was parked?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You also mentioned when discussing Jasko Hrnic that he owned motor
2 cycles. Then you mentioned that his brother was killed on one of them
3 and he did not want to ride that one any more. Did Mr. Hrnic have
4 other motor cycles?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you remember what kind or what colour they were?
7 A. These were large motor cycles, Kawasaki and Suzuki. Mostly those
8 motor cycles were just large and he changed them frequently. It was a
9 hobby of his and, as a business man who had a private company,
10 private transport company, could afford something like that.
11 Q. Do you remember the colour of any of those motor cycles?
12 A. I remember one of his Kawasaki motor cycles. It was 50 cubic
13 centimetres and I had a pleasure to ride on it with him. On one
14 occasion he was driving and I was sitting behind so I remember that
15 the best.
16 Q. Do you remember the colour of that particular one?
17 A. That motor cycle was red.
18 JUDGE STEPHEN: Before you leave that, we are only concerned with the
19 motor cycle that he last had, are we not? As I understand the
20 witness, he is talking about all the motor cycles he has had over the
22 MR. TIEGER: Maybe that was not clear.
23 JUDGE STEPHEN: Would you make that clear?
24 MR. TIEGER: Yes, thank you, your Honour. Because you are right, I
25 started off by addressing the motor cycles which he still had after
1 the other one was wrecked. (To the witness): Mr. Hodzic, the motor
2 cycle you just referred to, the red one you had ridden, did Mr. Hrnic
3 still have that immediately before the beginning of the war?
4 A. I think he still did, I think that was the one he had at that time.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Hodzic, getting back to Omarska, were prisoners
6 regularly called from their rooms?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did some of those prisoners return?
9 A. Some, yes.
10 Q. What was the condition often of those who did return?
11 A. They looked like they were beaten up, some could come on their own
12 power, some were brought in in a blanket, in different situations.
13 Q. Do you remember a man named Silvio Saric?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was he Chairman of the HDZ party in Prijedor before the war?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was he called from the room and returned?
18 A. He was called out, and he did return.
19 Q. What was his condition?
20 A. His condition was one of the worst of all the men that were going and
21 coming back. He was -- he had to be brought back. He could not walk
22 on his own power. He only showed signs of life in that he was
23 breathing heavily and he was looking. All the other functions of his
24 body were non-existent.
25 Q. Did Mr. Saric die from his injuries some days after he was returned?
1 A. Yes. He died in that room after several days.
2 Q. Were some prisoners called from their room and killed?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you know, for example, a man named Sefik Sivac?
5 A. Yes, I knew him well.
6 Q. What did he do before the war?
7 A. Before the war he had one of the more luxurious restaurants in
8 Kozarac called "De Luxe" and then he changed the name into
9 "International" and then he had a coffee bar in Prijedor at the old
11 Q. First of all, had he been beaten before he was called out of the room
12 for the last time?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. After Sefik Sivac was called out of the room for the last time, did
15 you later see his body?
16 A. Yes, the next day I saw his body, dead body.
17 Q. What was the condition of his body?
18 A. It looked like anything but a body. The clothes were torn up. There
19 were clear signs of blood. It was simply -- it was a terrible shape
20 the body was in.
21 Q. Was his body alone or was it in a pile of bodies?
22 A. His body was on a pile of bodies, somewhere around 10, eight or 10,
23 bodies. I recognised his body and another body of another man.
24 Q. Just for the record, I noticed that it said twice on the transcript
25 "Dzavid Sivac", and the name I asked about was Sefik Sivac, is that
1 correct? You were speaking about Sefik Sivac?
2 A. Sefik Sivac.
3 Q. Were some prisoners called from the room and simply disappeared?
4 A. Many.
5 Q. Mr. Hodzic, did you have a particular place where you normally stayed
6 in the big room?
7 A. Yes, we all had certain places. Once you enter, the first time you
8 entered, whoever found a place they tended to stay there. We got used
9 to that. I had my own place.
10 Q. Was Emir Karabasic in your room?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Was his place close to yours?
13 A. Yes, he was the third man away from me, from the left.
14 Q. Can I ask you to leave your chair and point out to us where your
15 place was in the room and where Mr. Karabasic's place was on the
17 A. Yes. (The witness indicated on the model) This was my place.
18 Q. For the record, would that be, as you enter, by the rear wall near
19 the left corner?
20 A. Yes, my head was against a wall which means that I was the last in
21 that row against the wall, here.
22 Q. Emir Karabasic was close by you?
23 A. To the left, the third person from me.
24 MR. TIEGER: Was the Court able to see that last shot?
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Not the last shot. I did not see the very last
1 shot, but I saw him when he first pointed to where he located where he
2 was sitting.
3 MR. TIEGER: There was just a better angle on the screen.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Show it again. Let us see.
5 MR. TIEGER: If you could again show us where your spot was? If you could
6 just very quickly again show us where your spot was, sir?
7 A. (The witness indicated on the model).
8 Q. Thank you. I am sorry. Could you return to your seat -- before you
9 do, let me ask you a couple of other questions. Do you know where
10 Enver Alic was, where he was held?
11 A. Enver Alic was in this room, but in the hallway, here.
12 Q. Do you know where Jasko Hrnic was?
13 A. In the room below the large room.
14 Q. Thank you. Now you may be seated. Was it sometimes possible for
15 prisoners in one room to visit prisoners in another?
16 A. Yes, it was possible.
17 Q. What did that depend on?
18 A. It depended on the guards, from the individual guard, from the
19 person, to what degree he was forthcoming.
20 Q. You mentioned that Emir Karabasic and Jasko Hrnic were good friends.
21 Did Emir Karabasic sometimes visit Jasko Hrnic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you recall the day when Emir Karabasic was called out of that big
24 room for the last time?
25 A. I remember.
1 Q. Do you recall the approximate date that occurred?
2 A. Not the date, but it happened in June, between 15th and 20th June.
3 Q. Do you recall the approximate time of day?
4 A. In the afternoon, between 4.00 and 6.00. I do not know the exact
6 Q. Had Emir Karabasic been called out before?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was his condition on the day he was called out the last time?
9 A. He was in a very bad condition, with very marked signs of beatings.
10 He was all black. You could clearly see the marks from the chain
11 which were on his chest, from some iron bars, because there was a
12 straight line. About 90 per cent of his body was black, even his
13 soles because he was bare foot, no socks, so his soles were black
14 which was a great problem for him because he was not able to walk.
15 Q. Was he recovering from those previous beatings on the date he was
16 called out for the last time?
17 A. I do not know. He pretty much recovered. I do not know if he was
18 fully recovered, but almost.
19 Q. Had Emir Karabasic expressed concern about the possibility of anyone
20 coming to camp?
21 A. Yes, his greatest worry was if Dule Tadic came. I think that he
22 feared that the most, and he was repeating that and he was insisting
23 on that. I did not know why. I tried sometimes when I had an
24 opportunity to ask him why him. I thought that he was a friend of
25 his, a long time friend; perhaps even he could expect some help from
1 him and not fear because Emir and I were good friends.
2 On one occasion he managed to tell me only that, "I saw
3 something that I was not supposed to see, I was somewhere where I
4 should not have been". He did not say what he saw and where he was,
5 but he was very frightened. He was so full of fear from the very
6 thought of Dusko Tadic. I did not understand -- perhaps even today I
7 do not know.
8 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may I raise a matter here? We are plainly in an
9 area involving prejudicial evidence that, in my submission, prevents
10 the defendant from having a fair trial, because of the nature of this
11 evidence that is reported conversation from a third party and would
12 fall within that category of hearsay about which the Defence has
13 previously made submissions.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
15 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, even in a jurisdiction which has rigid hearsay
16 rules, this evidence would fall within the state of mind exception.
17 In addition, it is a predicate to a further statement that was made in
18 contemplation of death.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay?
20 MR. KAY: May I reply to that? First of all, there is no ground of
21 settled helpless expectation of death which is the exception to the
22 hearsay rule the number of jurisdictions acknowledge to enable hearsay
23 to be included. There is nothing within the material adduced by the
24 Prosecution that show that at the time of any statements being made by
25 this party, that they fell within that particular category.
1 The state of mind of the party that is being referred to is
2 not relevant to the issue here. I cannot see how it is relevant in
3 relation to acts done by another that the state of mind of a third
4 party has any bearing upon the matter at all. If the Prosecution are
5 approaching these matters on that basis, my submission is that there
6 is a fundamental flaw in the way that they are presenting this
7 evidence and the basis of their argument.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger?
9 MR. TIEGER: First of all, your Honour, I think it is clear that the state
10 of mind of this particular victim plays a role in the overall analysis
11 of this incident in this case and is probative when placed within the
12 context of the overall facts.
13 Second, this particular statement was not elicited -- I am
14 not basing this particular piece of evidence on the contemplation of
15 death at that particular moment, but this is a predicate to a
16 statement that was made when this victim was confronted by the very
17 possibility he feared and at that moment, if I am allowed to elicit
18 the evidence, he clearly believed that he was a dead man.
19 That statement has all the reliability in addition, as you
20 will hear, to being present sense impression and a spontaneous
21 utterance that would permit its admission, even in a strict hearsay
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: As we have repeatedly said, our 10 Rules of
24 Procedure and Evidence in no way specifically exclude hearsay. We
25 have 89(C) that provides for the admission of testimony that is
1 relevant and has probative value. The motion that you have filed
2 regarding hearsay, which we have promised to give you a decision this
3 week on -- we heard argument last week, we are working on it now --
4 there are really two parts to that motion. One, that any evidence
5 that is offered that directly implicates the guilt of the accused be
6 excluded if it is hearsay and does not, I gather, fall within one of
7 the traditional exceptions in your written papers. You cited two,
8 excited utterances and another one I forget.
9 The second part, though, of your motion is that the Judges not
10 hear any such testimony, even if it fits within the exception, until
11 we determine the circumstances under which that testimony was
12 received. We have not ruled, but we obviously are working on the
13 decision and discussing it. Consistent with that, I will overrule
14 your objection.
15 Our focus again is probative value. 89(D) allows the Tribunal
16 or allows this Trial Chamber to exclude any evidence which, although
17 it has probative value, is substantially outweighed by the need to
18 provide a fair trial. It does not say "prejudicial effect", "fair
19 trial". At this point, we are looking at that particular Rule as
20 allowing us to hear this testimony. It is certainly relevant. It
21 appears to have probative value. If it appears that it is
22 substantially outweighed by the need to provide Mr. Tadic with a fair
23 trial, then we will exclude it from consideration. It will not play a
24 role in our reaching a decision in this matter.
25 So I will overrule your objection. Mr. Tieger, you may
2 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, your Honour.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Listening to Mr. Tieger raise these objections and
4 both of you argue about the technicalities, it just elucidates the
5 problem that is faced in an International Tribunal where we are all
6 working together in a new system that combines civil systems, where
7 hearsay is not even a factor, and then common law systems. Mr.
8 Tieger, from the United States, is referring to all of these
9 exceptions that I may be familiar with; you are referring to these
10 exceptions that Judge Stephen and Judge Vohrah may be familiar with.
11 We are focusing on an entirely different matter and that is the
12 probative value of the evidence. When we give you our decision, we
13 hope that you understand our analysis but I will overrule your
15 MR. KAY: Yes, your Honour.
16 MR. TIEGER (To the witness): Did Emir Karabasic say to you what he
17 thought would happen if Dule Tadic did come to camp?
18 A. Yes, he was very clear. He said he would be no more, which meant
19 that he would be killed. I am quite clear about that. It was not
20 only once, it was on several occasions that he said something to this
21 effect, "If Dule comes, then I am gone, I am finished".
22 Q. How did he look when he said those things?
23 A. He looked as I have never known him before -- frightened out of his
24 wits, poor, fearful. A man who had never been frightened by anything
25 before, who was a man very conscious of his dignity, and he had fallen
1 so low.
2 Q. You indicated that when you enquired he would not tell you exactly
3 why he was afraid. Were prisoners reluctant to talk to each other
4 about things they had seen?
5 A. Yes, it was, one might say, the first and basic thing to tell someone
6 because the more you knew the greater the chances were of being
7 killed. So that people, brother concealed from his brother, because
8 if he knew something, then you would be killed so that you would not
9 know it any more.
10 Q. I am sorry, just to clarify a translation. This translation says:
11 "Yes, it was, one might say, the first and basic thing to tell someone
12 because the more you knew the greater the chances were of being
13 killed". Was that to tell new prisoners that they should not talk to
14 one another?
15 A. That is what we felt, because if someone saw an act, a monstrous act,
16 which had taken place, shortly after that he would also disappear, but
17 not all, fortunately not all, not all of us. Some people survived
18 because it is impossible to destroy a people.
19 Q. On the day or the afternoon that Emir Karabasic was called out for
20 the last time, how was he called out?
21 A. Emir Karabasic is to go down.
22 Q. Where did the voice come from?
23 A. From the ground floor, from the room in front of the entrance door
24 through which one had to go through in order to climb up to that large
25 room in which I and Emir Karabasic were.
1 Q. How did Emir Karabasic react? How did he look after his name was
2 called out?
3 A. He jumped up, pale, frightened. He stood up in order to cross to the
4 window. He had to step over my foot, over my legs. So he got to the
5 window, bent, inclined and then he turned to us, he was also facing me
6 at that moment, and at that moment I thought that he would out of fear
7 die, but all he uttered was, "Dule has arrived, I am finished".
8 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, may I have this photograph marked as Exhibit 270
9 for identification, please? Can that be called up on the screen as
10 15/32? Mr. Hodzic, do you recognise this photograph?
11 A. Yes, this is the room in which I was, in which Emir Karabasic was
13 Q. The wall shown on the right side of the picture, is that the rear
14 wall of the room against which you were?
15 A. Yes, that is the back wall by these blue lockers.
16 Q. Was the blue cabinet there at the time?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Is the window shown somewhat to the right of centre of the
19 photograph, the window to which Emir Karabasic went after his name was
20 called out?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What did he do when he got to that window?
23 A. That window was the source of oxygen, of air, to us, and it was
24 always open, and he went across the window. He did not have to lean
25 across that window because the view was quite clear. Then he turned
1 and said that, "Dule has come, I am done with".
2 Q. How did he look at that moment?
3 A. So scared, so without a single trace of optimism that he might ever
4 come back after that call out. No optimism and a great deal of fear.
5 Q. Did Emir Karabasic go downstairs?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What could you hear happening on the ground floor of the hangar after
8 he went downstairs?
9 A. I did not hear the question.
10 Q. What could you hear from the ground floor of the hangar after Emir
11 Karabasic went downstairs?
12 A. A beating, battery began immediately, obscenities. That monstrous
13 act was already taking place.
14 Q. Did you hear other prisoners called out after Emir Karabasic?
15 A. I heard about Jasko Hrnic. He was called several times.
16 Q. Let me ask you this. How long did the sounds of beating and the
17 cries that you heard from downstairs continue for?
18 A. As far as I can judge, since we had no watches, nor would it occur to
19 anyone to look at the time, but it must have lasted about one hour,
20 perhaps 10 minutes less or 10 minutes more, but we had no watches.
21 They had been taken away from us by those guards.
22 Q. Could you tell how many prisoners were being beaten from the sounds
23 that were coming from downstairs?
24 A. Several of them. I could recognise some of them by their voices
25 because those screams were alternating, not from the same man. It is
1 different. It is, you knew a man, you know a man very well and then
2 he screams or wails, and then it continues with the second one, with a
3 third one.
4 Q. Were you able to tell how many guards or other people were involved
5 in beating the prisoners?
6 A. There were a number of guards, a number of them. I do not know how
7 many. I could not count them, but there were a number of them because
8 one man cannot perform all these blows so quickly and to reach all of
9 them, and they all had their curses. One could clearly distinguish,
10 clearly realise, there were several persons. How many, I could not
12 Q. During the hour or so this went on for, did you hear any orders being
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What did you hear?
16 A. Well, those were those orders which I could not believe a man with
17 dignity could utter, "Bite", "Pull", "Grab", "Tear", to that effect.
18 I know, clearly, that it referred to the genitals, because at a point
19 I heard, if I may use very brutal language, "Bite off his balls" and
20 that was quite clear what it meant because a man has them in only one
22 That pain, the pain of those people, that painful scream, it
23 was so awful. Hitchcock is nothing, a director, I mean, he is nothing
24 to them, to show something like that. Through pain, through wails,
25 they were imploring them, those people subjected to this were
1 imploring them, but the perpetrators seemed to draw courage from that,
2 and it would grow louder and louder and beatings became stronger.
3 That was horrible.
4 Q. As this was going on, did you try not to listen?
5 A. Yes, I did try that, to somehow plug my ears. I prayed to God not to
6 be there because those cries of pain, it was difficult and for a
7 normal man, it was very difficult for a normal man to endure them. So
8 I tried to put my head down, to put my hands over my ears and then I
9 had to do it again, come, maybe I will hear somebody surviving, and
10 then I would again cover my ears. It was -- if I had to go through
11 that once again, I do not think that I would survive, just barely
12 listening to it.
13 This is the worst, worst thing that ever happened to me in the
14 camp and in my life. It is difficult, it is difficult to describe it.
15 You can only have bad luck and experience it. Only if you really have
16 bad luck, if you have no luck at all, can you experience something
17 like that.
18 Q. Mr. Hodzic, when the sounds from the ground floor of the hangar
19 finally stopped, that is, the sounds which you have described, did
20 you later hear anything else happening in the hangar? Did you hear
21 what happened after the incident was over?
22 A. When they stopped the beating and those screams, those wails, I do
23 not know whether to call them, then a lull ensued, a lull. I do not
24 know how long it lasted. I do not know what dead silence is, but that
25 is an expression repeated often. There was dead silence. Then we
1 heard the sound of that small truck, of that TAM, and when that sound
2 disappeared then one could hear washing, that something was being
4 Q. Do you recall whether or not music was played during the incident or
5 after the incident was over?
6 A. Then music was often the motivation and it also helped them. It
7 boosted their morales, those guards, those men, I do not know what
8 their names are. I do not want really to insult them, but those men,
9 those humans, they were playing music. The music referred to a text
10 which is imprinted on my mind, "Let me live, don't touch my
11 happiness", and the translation of those lyrics is clear enough and
12 shows what they intend to do when the tortured person was experiencing
13 two kinds of pain, one for being beaten and the other one listening to
14 a song which is provocative.
15 Q. Mr. Hodzic, did you ever see Emir Karabasic, Jasko Hrnic or Enver
16 Alic alive again after that day?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you ever see Dule Tadic in Omarska?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Where were you when you saw him?
21 A. Then I was lining up for lunch, 30 of us in a group and, as I came
22 out, there was already a column in the kitchen and we were waiting
23 ready along the wall of this building in front of me. At the corner
24 by the kitchen stood Dusko Tadic whom I know very well, and I felt
25 fear creeping through me so as not to be spotted by him.
1 Q. Was that on the corner directly across from the position where the
2 prisoners lined up? The corner of the kitchen directly across from
3 the position where the prisoners lined up?
4 A. Yes, yes, and I was looking forward directly, that is, my eyes were
5 turned in his direction.
6 Q. How were the prisoners lined up that day?
7 A. One behind the other.
8 Q. Facing which direction?
9 A. The direction of the kitchen.
10 Q. So your right shoulder would be against the wall?
11 A. Yes, yes, towards the wall.
12 Q. Did the prisoners always line up in that way before going to lunch?
13 A. Not always. There were instances when we had to face the wall,
14 sometimes to look down at our feet. It varied. More often than not,
15 we were not allowed to look either forward or to any of the sides.
16 Q. What was Dule Tadic wearing that day, if you recall?
17 A. I remember he had a uniform, a camouflage uniform.
18 Q. Were there any soldiers or guards in the area where he was?
19 A. Yes, from my viewpoint to the left of him and it was the common
20 picture, that is, that was where the guards stood every day. That was
21 the sentry post. A guard would stand there and provide some cover
22 from the sun. They improvised something, some kind of shade, and he
23 was standing in front of them and by the very corner of the
25 Q. After you had seen and recognised Dule Tadic there and began to move
1 forward to go to lunch, did you make an effort not to be seen by him?
2 A. Then I did what I could so as not to be spotted by him.
3 Q. Do you know whether or not he was still out there when you returned
4 from lunch a few minutes later?
5 A. Yes, he was still there.
6 Q. Mr. Hodzic, do you see Dule Tadic in court today?
7 A. Do I see him?
8 Q. Yes, can you look around and tell us if you see Dule Tadic in court?
9 A. Yes, I see him. He is sitting between two policemen, rather sour
10 faced with a tie. I can see him well.
11 MR. TIEGER: May the record reflect the identification of the accused?
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The record will reflect the identification of the
13 accused by the witness but, Mr. Hodzic, please refrain from any
14 negative descriptions. Just describe what Mr. Tadic is wearing. That
15 is sufficient. Thank you.
16 MR. TIEGER: I have nothing further, your Honour.
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Cross-examination Mr. Kay?
18 MR. KAY: Yes, your Honour.
19 Cross-examined by MR. KAY
20 Q. Mr. Hodzic, from what you tell us then, you did not see Dule Tadic in
21 the camp on this afternoon that Emir Karabasic was called out from
22 that room?
23 A. I did, I saw him.
24 Q. You have told us that you were told by Emir Karabasic that he had a
25 fear of Dusko Tadic?
1 A. Yes, I heard it.
2 Q. You have told us that he confided that to you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Emir Karabasic was a well-known man from Kozarac?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Many people in that camp knew who he was?
7 A. Yes, I guess so.
8 Q. What he appeared to be saying to you was, "If Dusko Tadic visits the
9 camp and knows I am here, then something will happen to me"?
10 A. Yes, that is what he told me.
11 Q. So there was no indication from Emir Karabasic before that afternoon
12 that Dusko Tadic had visited the camp and knew that he was there?
13 A. He did not tell me that.
14 Q. On that afternoon when Emir Karabasic was called out, can you
15 recollect anyone else being called out?
16 A. Yes, Jasko Hrnic.
17 Q. Anyone else?
18 A. I did not hear.
19 Q. Eno Alic, for instance, did you know that he was called out?
20 A. He was not called out, to my hearing. I did not hear it. How he went
21 out of the room, I do not know, but he was not called out.
22 Q. Did you hear anyone else being called out?
23 A. That afternoon?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. No.
1 Q. So, it is just those two names that you heard and you were in this
2 room on the first floor at the end of the corridor when you heard
3 those names being called, is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is that the room that you had stayed in during your period of
6 detention in Omarska until the end when you were moved from that camp?
7 A. Yes, but before the interrogation I was in room 15.
8 Q. Yes, but you stayed in this room until you were eventually moved
9 elsewhere in August, is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Later on that afternoon when these incidents took place, did you talk
12 to other people about what had happened?
13 A. After that event?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. I did not have enough courage, because if one should start enquiring
16 around us about something, then it could become dangerous for me.
17 Q. Do you know who I mean when I identify a witness as G? Have you been
18 told that this is a name by which someone who was in the camp should
19 be described if he is mentioned in these proceedings?
20 A. No.
21 Q. I would like you to look at this piece of paper here. I do not want
22 the ladies and gentlemen in the public gallery to see it behind you,
23 so make sure you look at it in front of your body, then fold the piece
24 of paper up.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Just put it flat on the table. Do you want to show
1 that to the Prosecutor? (Handed).
2 MR. KAY (To the witness): That name I wrote down on that piece of paper,
3 is that someone whom you knew in Omarska as being involved that
4 afternoon in what was happening in the hangar?
5 A. I heard that and I am not sure about that.
6 Q. Did you see that person whom we will call G, do you understand, that
7 afternoon taking part in these events?
8 A. That afternoon I could not see that event, and I could not see the
9 person G.
10 Q. Because what I want to suggest to you is that you have told this
11 court that Emir Karabasic mentioned Dule Tadic as he was leaving that
12 room because you want to implicate Dusko Tadic in what happened there
13 that afternoon?
14 A. I do not want to blame Dusan Tadic. I want to see the one blamed who
15 is guilty of something and not personally just Dusko Tadic. I would
16 be happier to defend him rather to accuse him.
17 Q. What I am suggesting to you is you have made that up to involve him
18 in what you say you heard taking place?
19 A. That is not true. I did not make it up.
20 Q. Have you always spoken about what happened that afternoon without
21 making up what you believe happened, without inventing part of the
23 A. I did not make anything up or add anything to the story and I would
24 appeal to you, sir, to ask me shorter questions because it is
25 difficult for me to answer after such a long question is asked.
1 Q. Have you always told the truth about what happened that afternoon?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So, from what you say, you never saw what happened in that hangar
4 when those screams were being uttered?
5 A. I did not see it.
6 Q. I would like you to look at this statement that you made and I will
7 give it to you in your own language. It is a statement that was taken
8 in the form of an interview. For identification purposes, your
9 Honour, might it be called D24 which is the next number? I believe
10 the Prosecution has have a copy of this already.
11 I would like to put that statement before you. You will see
12 it is something written in your own language. Do you remember giving
13 a statement in July 1993, about a year later, on a questionnaire in
14 relation to a body called Refugees from the Former Yugoslavia? Do you
15 remember that?
16 A. Yes, I remember it. It was not a statement. It was a story how I
17 survived the camp, and there was no distinction made between what I
18 heard about and what I experienced, so it was just the whole story
19 about the camp.
20 Q. It was written down with an interpreter present?
21 A. Yes, there was an interpreter to whom I immediately had an objection
22 because he was Albanian and his knowledge of the language that I speak
23 was very poor.
24 Q. Whatever his knowledge of the language was, you do not think that he
25 would have started making up things that you had seen, do you, Mr.
2 A. But things can be confused, what I heard and what I saw.
3 Q. If you could just turn to page 5 and you will see in the middle a
4 heading at paragraph 6 called, "Incident, a murder on 16th June 1992
5 of four people who were close to me".
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you see that? I would like you to take this opportunity to read
8 through that page 5 and page 6 of this statement and the top parts of
9 page 7 -- there is no need to read it out loud. You can read it to
10 yourself and then I will ask some questions about it to you.
11 A. I have finished reading.
12 Q. Yes. If you would like to turn to page 6 of that statement, you can
13 see the names mentioned there, you claim in this statement that one of
14 the guards called out four names, Enver Alic, Emir Karabasic, Jasko
15 Hrnic and Fikret Harambasic, is that right? You will see the names
16 Enver Alic and Emir Karabasic on page 5.
17 A. Yes, that is how it is stated here.
18 Q. Yes, you claimed that those four names were called out, but that is
19 not something you actually heard, is it?
20 A. I heard only two names being called out, and this statement of mine
21 is a statement which is just a story about my being in the camp, what
22 I heard and what I saw. This is -- there is no distinction here
23 between what I heard and what I saw, like it is now in this case.
24 Q. Is that right, because you will notice at the end of the sentence in
25 that top paragraph on page 6, you say that most of what you are going
1 to describe you witnessed with your own eyes, "Everything else I
2 heard". Perhaps you would like to read out those last two sentences
3 in that top paragraph on page 6 beginning, "Vecinu"? Perhaps you
4 would like to read that out to the court out loud?
5 A. "Most of what I am now going to describe I witnessed with my own
6 eyes. Everything else I heard".
7 Q. Thank you. In the next paragraph you describe that, "they were
8 brutally beaten with rifle butts and iron bars in front of our hangar
9 where we could see", is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. "They were ordered to lie on the ground. They were beaten from all
12 sides on all parts of their bodies".
13 A. Sir, it says, "Where we could see them".
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. That is plural, and then from that plural I could hear something
16 because up there it says, "I heard the rest".
17 Q. You did not see anyone being beaten in that hangar, as you told this
19 A. That afternoon I did not see anybody being beaten. I only heard that
20 beating going on.
21 Q. Yet in this statement you claimed to have seen it?
22 A. That "we saw", that could also mean that somebody else who saw it
23 could have told me about it.
24 Q. To describe that they were beaten on all parts of their bodies is not
25 something to do with hearing the incident, it is claiming to have seen
1 it, because how would you know they were beaten on all parts of their
3 A. I was beaten up myself and I know that they beat you up on all parts
4 of the body.
5 Q. In that paragraph you go on to say, "It was the worst thing we saw"?
6 That is right, is it not?
7 A. Yes, but in what paragraph?
8 Q. In that second paragraph on page 6, after you describe them being
9 brutally beaten and it being in front "where we could see" and after
10 they were beaten on all sides of their bodies, you say, "It was the
11 worst thing we saw".
12 A. Yes, and again in this sentence as well it states what we saw, which
13 means again it is several people who saw it, and I could have heard it
14 from those people because this was only a story that the person to
15 whom I was giving the interview had a picture of what happened to us
16 in that camp.
17 Q. You also go on further in this statement to say, "15 minutes later
18 the torturers fetched another Muslim out, G", and the letter G is
19 used in this translation instead of his full name?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In the next sentence to that, "The torturers opened the door to my
22 hangar and took the first person they saw?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You were claiming that G came from your room?
25 A. Yes, the person where G was staying belonged to our room. We shared
1 the same door to enter and exit.
2 Q. "The torturers formed an alley. G had to take the virtually lifeless
3 bodies by the ankles or the arms and drag them through the alley like
4 a sack of potatoes. While he did so, the torturers beat the virtually
5 lifeless bodies again. When he had dragged one person through, he had
6 to drop the body and drag another person".
7 A. Yes, that is what it says here.
8 Q. That is what you were claiming to have seen? You claimed to have
9 seen things that afternoon that were not true, that you did not see?
10 A. I did not see that and it is clear in each that it was a plural, that
11 it was -- which is different from "I". "We" and "I" is different and
12 that was a story of a camp.
13 Q. But why are you mentioning here G when you knew nothing about G being
14 involved in this incident?
15 A. After the conversations had become possible after this danger ceased,
16 I did not want to remind him of things that were so difficult for him.
17 Q. If we just look at that next paragraph: "The first time that Jasmin
18 Hrnic was dragged through the alley he was already dead. I know it
19 was Hrnic because one of the Serbs commented that as a motor cyclist
20 he had not been so weak. I knew that Hrnic was the only motor
22 A. Yes, it does not say when he was dragged through the first time, but
23 when Jasmin Hrnic was so dragged through the line-up, and it does not
24 say first or second or third time.
25 Q. But you did not see that at all?
1 A. No, I did not see that. I am not claiming to have seen it.
2 Q. Why have you said it in this statement that is being caused to bring
3 you here as a witness for the Prosecution?
4 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I have a number of objections to that question.
5 I guess the primary one is counsel is rehashing the same point over
6 and over through each paragraph and reasking the same question which
7 the witness has answered many times. Secondly, with respect to that
8 particular question, I do not think there is any basis for the Defence
9 to build into their questions suppositions about the basis for calling
10 any witness.
11 MR. KAY: I am sorry if it gives Mr. Tieger discomfort.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The witness has said several times that, "This is
13 not a statement, but a story of what I heard as well as what I saw".
14 So very often you ask him, "Why is this in the statement when you did
15 not see this?" The answer has always been, "This is not a statement of
16 what I saw. It is a statement, as I said in the beginning, of what I
17 heard and saw".
18 So I can overrule your objection. It is just he keeps saying
19 over and over, and you are basically eliciting a lot of information
20 regarding an occurrence this witness did not testify about today
21 because he says he did not see it. If you want to continue reading
22 about all of these things that he says other people heard and told
23 him, you can do so. I will overrule the objection.
24 MR. KAY (To the witness): Again when you made this statement you said
25 that G was ordered to drink motor oil, is that right?
1 A. When I gave this story about the camp, not the statement.
2 Q. In this statement, though, you said, as we have looked at on the top
3 of page 6, "Most of what I am now going to describe I witnessed with
4 my own eyes. Everything else I heard".
5 A. Whatever I heard or seen, I related to this honourable court.
6 Q. You on this occasion made a statement which was being prepared to
7 enable the Prosecution of people believed to be Serbian war criminals,
8 is that right?
9 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I want to object. This examination started off
10 when counsel himself asked the witness about what was entitled "The
11 questionnaire for refugees from the Former Yugoslavia". It is an
12 extremely unfair question he is now requesting.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The question is whether or not this was a statement
14 that enabled the Prosecution to believe that Serbian war criminals --
15 I cannot read the rest of it. Unless this witness has some personal
16 knowledge that somehow this statement was going to be given to the
17 Prosecution, and then the Prosecution would then make an assessment of
18 it to determine whether they would file an indictment, I think it is
19 inappropriate. It calls for conclusions really that he is not able to
20 make. This is up to the Prosecution. His statement, I gather, was
21 not taken by the Prosecution. It was taken by who, The Refugees --
22 some organisation. I do not recall the full name of it.
23 MR. KAY: Taken without conditions for the United Nations.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Refugees from former Yugoslavia, yes. I will
25 sustain the objection. It is speculative. It calls for a conclusion
1 I think this witness cannot make.
2 MR. KAY (To the witness): Let us see, Mr. Hodzic, if you can deal with
3 this as you have had plenty of opportunity to rely on the fact that
4 you were relating matters that you knew from the history of the camp.
5 If you just look at that paragraph concerning G being ordered to
6 drink motor oil, do you also say, "From this point on I could not keep
8 A. What page is this?
9 Q. Page 6 in the middle. "We heard G being ordered to drink used motor
11 A. "Then I heard", not "seen", "how G was ordered and then from that
12 moment I could not see things any more". So that is where the error
13 in translation comes in because "heard" and "seen" is different.
14 Q. Yes. "I could not see things any more" implies that you were saying
15 you could see them before?
16 A. I keep repeating -- I do not know how many times I need to repeat --
17 this statement, this story about our experience of the camp is not
18 about accusation, a questionnaire to all the detainees, all the
19 refugees from the former Yugoslavia to in some way provide a picture,
20 an approximate picture, of what happened. There was nothing, there
21 were no strictures given at that time what we needed to do precisely,
22 so I just told a story.
23 Q. In relation to this matter you go on, as you have seen in your
24 statement, to give lots of details about G and what he was supposed to
25 have done that afternoon, is that right?
1 A. Again, when we "heard", I do not see that -- if you see anywhere
2 that I say "I saw", "We then heard G being ordered to drink used motor
3 oil", etc. Later, he said, he told me that he had to drink so he was
4 telling me. My statement is about both seeing and hearing it from
6 Q. In this statement you do not say that you heard Emir Karabasic say,
7 "Dule is here, I am finished"?
8 A. If I was to tell everything that I saw and I heard, it would last a
9 very long time. It would be more than one volume of a book.
10 Q. What I suggest to you is this, that you heard a rumour that Dule
11 Tadic was involved in this, is that right or wrong?
12 A. It is not right.
13 Q. Did not G come up there to that large room and there be rumour
14 amongst all of you about what had happened?
15 A. The person G after that was almost speechless after that, because
16 after that act that he was ordered to perform, it was difficult to
17 talk about anything, let alone him coming and saying, "Hey, there was
18 Dule Tadic around and this and that". I do not know if you realise
19 what it means to be in the camp.
20 Q. You did not know that there was a second volunteer out there in the
21 hangar with G, did you?
22 A. It could not be one person. One person was not enough to meet their
23 needs for entertainment, to drag, to pull, to do all this, to hold
24 him. One person could not do that. It is only natural that there
25 were more.
1 Q. What I suggest to you is this, that because of that rumour and you
2 claiming to have seen more to other people, that is why you have come
3 here to implicate Dusko Tadic?
4 A. That is not true.
5 MR. KAY: I have no further questions. Your Honour, I have tendered the
6 statement. May it be exhibited as D24? It was my omission to
7 remember to do that.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, it is. What is the number?
9 MR. KAY: 24.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It has been offered for identification purposes.
11 You want it to put it in. Any objection?
12 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, it is already part of the Court's materials as
13 tendered by the Prosecution. In so far as the statement is concerned
14 -- the translation of the document which is being tendered, that is
15 not something that I am familiar with. We tendered to the Defence an
16 English translation of the questionnaire. Now there is a Serbo-Croat
17 translation which, I gather, is being tendered to the Court. I would
18 at least like an opportunity to see the extent to which it conforms to
19 the original versions. But, with that reservation, I have no
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Then we will reserve a ruling on it. Let us have an
22 opportunity for them to review the English and make sure that it has
23 been properly translated, at least according to the Prosecution's view
24 of the translation. Perhaps there will be no problem.
25 MR. KAY: Yes. Your Honour will recollect the witness has been through it
1 with me live, so I have no objection to 24A being the Serbo-Croat, B
2 being the English.
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think the point Mr. Tieger is -- have you read the
4 entire statement? I am sorry, then I missed it. I thought just
5 portions of it have been read.
6 MR. KAY: This incident is section 6. I summarised the end.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The English will be admitted as 24B.
8 MR. KAY: Yes.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: 24A will be admitted, subject to the Prosecutor
10 having an opportunity to confirm the translation that you have made of
11 the English.
12 MR. KAY: This is from the Tribunal, this is from the Registry. This is
13 done for us.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: OK.
15 MR. KAY: By the Tribunal.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Tieger, do you have a copy of 24A? That is the
18 MR. TIEGER: No, I do not.
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: It will be admitted. If there is a problem in
20 translation we will resolve it later. 24A and 24B will be admitted.
21 Give the Prosecution a copy of 24A, please.
22 Mr. Tieger, any redirect?
23 Re-Examined by MR. TIEGER.
24 Q. Perhaps just one question, Mr. Hodzic. If you can turn to the first
25 page of that questionnaire, at the bottom of the first paragraph, the
1 last sentence, did the translator or the interpreter to whom you were
2 speaking and during the course of this questionnaire understand you to
3 say that you tried to summarise some of the worst events of Omarska,
4 and is that reflected in the statement?
5 A. You mean whether the interpreter understood that?
6 Q. Well, is that what appears in the, at least does that appear in the
7 copy of the questionnaire which you have in front of you at the
8 bottom, just before incident one is recounted?
9 A. "I experienced some terrible things during this period. I shall try
10 to briefly refer to the worst incidents."
11 Q. Is that what you tried to do for the people who were questioning or
12 asking you to complete this questionnaire process on that day, give
13 them some understanding of what had happened in Omarska and what
14 information you could provide about that?
15 A. Yes, that is what I was trying to do, just to give them a rough
16 picture of what was going on in this camp. I did not see it as a
17 statement because I cannot base a statement on hearsay, of something
18 more important. This was just a story. I was just telling a story
19 about something that happened in my life while I was at a camp.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you sir. I have nothing further. Your Honour, Miss
21 Sutherland reminds me that we did not tender Exhibit 270 for
23 MR. KAY: No objection, your Honour.
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That was the photo of Mr. Karabasic and Mr. Tadic,
25 is that correct?
1 MR. TIEGER: No, your Honour that was the photo of the large room.
2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Of where the witness was. OK, very good.
3 MR. TIEGER: That is correct.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: No objection to Exhibit 270?
5 MR. KAY: No, your Honour.
6 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, if I could have one more moment. I have nothing
7 further. Thank you.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Kay?
9 MR. KAY: Nothing arises, your Honour.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I have no questions. Sir, you are permanently
11 excused -- is there any objection to this witness being permanently
13 MR. KAY: No objection.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You are permanently excused. Thank you for coming.
15 THE WITNESS: Not at all.
16 (The witness withdrew).
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Keegan, you will call the next witness?
18 MR. KEEGAN: Yes, your Honour the Prosecution will call Mr. Armin Mujcic.
19 MR. ARMIN Mujcic, called.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Sir, would you please stand and take the oath.
21 THE WITNESS [In translation]: I solemnly declare that I will speak the
22 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. You may be seated.
24 Examined by MR. KEEGAN.
25 Q. Sir, could you state your full name, please?
1 A. My name is Armin Mujcic.
2 Q. Your date of birth, sir?
3 A. 26th April 1968.
4 Q. Were you born in the town of Kozarac in the opstina of Prijedor?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Where were you raised and where did you attend school?
7 A. I was raised in Kozarac and that is where I completed four grades of
8 the elementary school.
9 Q. That was "Kozarusa" not" Kozarac?
10 A. Kozarusa.
11 Q. After completing the four years of school did you go on to school in
12 Kozarac itself and then in Prijedor?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What was your occupation, sir?
15 A. I was a locksmith.
16 Q. Did you complete your compulsory military service?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In what year was that?
19 A. 1986/87.
20 Q. What were you trained as?
21 A. As a tank operator.
22 Q. Were you a driver or a gunner?
23 A. A gunner.
24 Q. After you returned home to the Kozarac area did you serve any reserve
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. When was the last time you performed reserve duty?
3 A. On the eve of the war, at the outbreak of the war in Slovenia and
5 Q. When you performed this reserve duty were you issued uniforms and
7 A. We kept uniforms at home and we were issued weapons.
8 Q. Where were you issued the weapons?
9 A. The day when the exercises started.
10 Q. Were you allowed to keep the weapons?
11 A. No.
12 Q. When did they have to be returned?
13 A. When the drill, when the exercise was over.
14 Q. After you completed your compulsory military service and returned to
15 the area, where did you work?
16 A. I worked at the Ljubija tyres factory.
17 Q. Are you married?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you have children?
20 A. Yes, one.
21 Q. Sir, do you know a man named Dusko Tadic from Kozarac?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. How do you know him?
24 A. I have known him since the elementary school when he held karate
25 courses in the school.
1 Q. Did you ever participate in that karate training?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How old were you at that time?
4 A. 13, 14, I cannot remember.
5 Q. Since that time when you participated in the karate training, would
6 you see Dusko Tadic in the Kozarac area?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you ever frequent his cafe?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Before the war had you ever seen him with a beard?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Had you seen him without a beard?
13 A. Yes, that too.
14 Q. Did you know the name of any of the people whom he associated with or
15 was friends with in the Kozarac area?
16 A. I used to see him in company with all people who had coffee bars or
17 cafes, people who had a transportation business who had their own
19 Q. Do you know the names of some of those people?
20 A. Jasmin Hrnic, called Jasko. I also used to see him in the company of
21 policeman Emir Karabasic.
22 Q. What did Jasmin Hrnic do for a living?
23 A. He had his private trucking business.
24 Q. Was he also known to ride motor cycles?
25 A. Yes, he always rode good motor cycles, expensive, powerful.
1 Q. Do you happen to remember the colour of the motor cycle that he had
2 before the war?
3 A. I think he had a Kawasaki a red one.
4 Q. Could we have Exhibit 269 brought up on the screen, please? Sorry,
5 could 269 be put on the Elmo. Could we have the Elmo switched on,
6 please? Thank you. Sir, do you recognise the people in that picture?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And who are they?
9 A. To the right is Emir Karabasic and Mr. Dusko Tadic on the right side
10 with a beard.
11 Q. The translation, I am sorry, said, "To the right is Emir Karabasic
12 and Mr. Dusko Tadic on the right side with a beard"?
13 A. As I see it, he is to the right of me as I look at it, that is Emir
15 Q. Yes, and therefore Mr. Dusko Tadic is on the left?
16 A. Yes, with a beard and a moustache.
17 Q. Thank you. Sir, do you see the man that you know as Dusko Tadic here
18 in this courtroom? Could you look around the courtroom please and see
19 if you see Dusko Tadic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could you please point to him and describe what he is wearing?
22 A. He has a green suit sitting between two policemen.
23 Q. Thank you. May the record reflect that the witness identified the
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The record will reflect that the witness identified
1 the accused.
2 MR. KEEGAN: Sir, before the war when did you stop working?
3 A. Before the war we stopped working when Prijedor was occupied by the
4 army, by the Serb one, the police, and it lasted for about two or
5 three days, nothing worked. Then they allegedly introduced order.
6 The army was posted at all facilities of importance. There were Serb
7 flags hoisted up. That is how we had to move around for several days.
8 There were checkpoints.
9 Q. For how long then after that were you able to continue working?
10 A. Several days.
11 Q. Then what happened?
12 A. One day at a checkpoint manned by the Serb Army at Orlovci soldiers
13 came in and said, "Let's see your ID cards".
14 Q. When you say the soldier came in, do you mean on the bus?
15 A. Yes. Then those who were of Serb descent, they inferred that from
16 their names, they were told they could go on and we who were Muslims,
17 and others perhaps of other descent, we had to turn back, and as of
18 that day we did not go to work any more.
19 Q. Were you in the Kozarac area when the attack began?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you recall what day it began?
22 A. I do. It was Sunday, afternoon hours. It was 24th or 25th. I
23 cannot recall the date exactly.
24 Q. Where were you when the attack began?
25 A. I was in Kozarusa in the place Mujkanovici.
1 Q. Was that at your own home or someone else's?
2 A. I was with my relatives on the other side. My home is on the
3 boundary of the Local Communes of Garevci and Kozarusa.
4 Q. Why were you not at your own home?
5 A. Well, we went home by day and at night we did not sleep there because
6 as of that day when the army took over Prijedor, there were patrols
7 and they had armed soldiers and we were afraid.
8 Q. Was the area around your home a predominantly Serb area?
9 A. Yes, there were only three Muslim homes. The rest were Serb.
10 Q. When the attack began, what did you see?
11 A. It began out of the blue the shelling from all types of weapons. I
12 saw a column of vehicles coming from the direction of Prijedor. Part
13 of that column detoured on to the road to Garevci and the other one
14 headed in the direction of Kozarac and began shelling houses one by
15 one. I saw my home burning, I saw it was hit, and other neighbours.
16 Those on the road to Garevci, the tank, that one which detoured to
17 Garevci, they also began to fire.
18 Q. Once that attack began what did you do?
19 A. What could we? There were women and children. We all felt lost. We
20 did not know where to go, what to do. So we tried to hide in some
21 cellars where shells could not reach, but the shells were falling all
22 over. Every second there was a shell, one might say.
23 Q. Did you continue to move about the area over the next couple of days
24 from place to place?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. At some point did you enter the town of Kozarac?
2 A. Yes, I was in Kozarac. We thought we would be safe if we got to
3 Kozarac, to the woods.
4 Q. When you got to Kozarac did you see Dusko Tadic in that town?
5 A. I saw him.
6 Q. Can you describe the circumstances when you saw him?
7 A. I think it was the second day. We were tired, I and those, there
8 were several boys there and men with me. We were wet because we waded
9 through water as this was the best shield from shells and bullets and
10 all the rest. We came across some people who told us that buses were
11 coming and taking to Trnopolje, that there was a sort of reception
12 centre there, although we had seen buses driving to Prijedor from the
13 direction of Kozarac. We had made up our minds to join since we had
14 seen those columns coming down from the direction of Kotlovici, from
15 Mrakovici, from the top of Kozarac to the Banja Luka Road. We thought
16 that we might perhaps join one of those columns.
17 Q. Where were you in the town when you saw Dusko Tadic?
18 A. We had reached that part where the school was. At that moment when I
19 saw a tank I was behind the pharmacy, behind the building which housed
20 the pharmacy.
21 Q. You mentioned a tank. What did you see in the tank?
22 A. I saw a column which was moving past the tank on the left-hand side.
23 I recognised on the tank two persons, Dusko Tadic and Goran
25 Q. Did you see Dusko Tadic or Goran Borovnica do anything?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What did you see them do?
3 A. At the moment when he was coming off the tank people were asking
4 something, enquiring of something. I heard a noise. I heard rough
5 language. I heard "balija mother" cursed and what not. A young man,
6 a boy, approached and Dule hit him.
7 MR. KEEGAN: Your Honour, if that would be a ----
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes. The Trial Chamber will stand in adjournment
9 until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
10 (5.30 p.m.)
11 (The court adjourned until the following day).