Monday, 9 December 2002
[The accused entered court]
--- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, everybody. Please be seated. Time doesn't cure everything, but I hope that the break served as a period for coming back to the spirit of cooperation we had earlier in this courtroom, and I hope that we can proceed in this spirit. But let us first hear the case number.
THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case number IT-97-24-T, the Prosecutor versus Milomir Stakic.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. And the appearances, please, for the Prosecution.
MR. KOUMJIAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Nicholas Koumjian, Ann Sutherland, and Ruth Karper for the Office of the Prosecutor.
MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Dan Cirkovic, our case manager, and John Ostojic on behalf of Mr. Stakic.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, thank you. As usual, we have to start with some administrative matters. You may recall that on purpose we did not decide on the admission of the documents J8-1 until J8-23 before we had the Appeals Chamber decision. Having now this decision, it is necessary to admit these documents into evidence. I can't see any objections. Hereby admitted into evidence. We're extremely grateful that the registry provided us with the final Defence witness list. And we will proceed with the numbers you can 9445 find here, opposed to the 65 ter numbers we could find on the motions provided by the Defence. We have got the necessary proffers, save the following:
Number 6, number 10, number 15, number 28, number 35, number 45, number 50, number 53, and number 56. This is only to recall that we need these statements proffered in due time.
Let me also recall that the Chamber ordered that the appearances and the order of the appearances for the first eight working days in January 2003 should be available no later than 11 December. This would be Wednesday this week.
We were confronted with some motions. May I ask, is it correct that the Defence does not want to come back to Witness Q? She would be available during these days.
[Defence counsel and accused confer]
MR. OSTOJIC: At this time, Your Honour, the Defence is of the position that we will not need Witness Q to ask her any further questions upon review of her transcript as well as the tapes and the transcript that we received in connection with her testimony under Rule 68 that the Prosecutor provided us. So we do not have any plans on asking for further cross-examination of Witness Q.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Shall I understand the first three words, "at this time," as a kind of caveat, or is it your find answer?
MR. OSTOJIC: It's not a caveat, Your Honour. However, our investigator and Mr. Lukic is endeavouring to meet with the members that were identified late, and he has not completed that review. If during the 9446 interview process the individual whose testimony we would or hopefully utilise to attack or at least add some credibility or weight to Witness Q, then we would formally file a motion, we anticipate, for leave to do so. We'd hate to speculate on that point, but at this point, reviewing her transcript and reviewing the testimony provided by the 68 individual, we do not believe there's a need. However, during the interview if something arises, we will let the Court know. But at this point it is a final answer, yes.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes. But please be aware then this does not fall under the attempt to cure that you might call as a prejudice happening on the basis that some statements were not provided in due time to the Defence. This would be a matter emanating in an ordinary cause of hearing the one or other witness in preparation of their hearing, and then it would be an ordinary case but not under the extraordinary circumstances emanating from the fact that some statements were not provided in due time. Correct?
MR. OSTOJIC: With all due respect to the Court, I don't necessarily agree in entirety with the Court's summary, and I'll explain why, if I may. In essence, we believe that the Defence was prejudiced, as we outlined. We believe that even if we were to re-examine Witness Q, the benefit of that re-examination has been lost forever because now she would have been otherwise more fully prepared in light of knowing exactly what questions we would ask her. This is -- then it would be her second attempt or second opportunity to testify, so she would now be a more experienced witness. 9447 When the Court under the Rules is given the authority to judge the credibility of a witness, it is also obviously to make observations of the witness while they're testifying. We, the Defence, feel that we've lost that opportunity with respect to a number of witnesses. I recognise the Court does not agree with us. It is not a cure, in my opinion, although we're grateful that the OTP recognises the late disclosure, it is not a cure, we believe, in hindsight to go back and ask limited questions. We'll do so in the interest of justice, but by no means will we take the position that it is an absolute cure and therefore no prejudice resulted. We will maintain our position and we will be steadfast in that position, the Defence had lost an opportunity and we were not given what we consider and deem to be a fair trial. Thank you, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The Prosecution, please.
MR. KOUMJIAN: Your Honour, I think to make the record clear for purpose obviously the Defence is setting up an appeal issue. It should be clear in the record that the Office of the Prosecutor sent a letter to the Defence, I believe, dated the -- about a week ago, indicating that Witness Q would be brought here and the Defence would be allowed to question Witness Q if they had any further questions.
The statement that counsel is speaking about is, as Your Honours know, the statement of the person that she named as the perpetrator of crimes against her, very, very serious crimes against her. The name of that person was available to the Defence before the trial when her statement was provided. So if the Defence has not yet spoken to that person, it's not due to any fault of the Office of the Prosecutor. The 9448 fact that that individual denies his very serious crime, I don't think anyone can realistically say that they're surprised that in an interview with the Office of the Prosecutor that this person did not admit his crimes.
But in any event, we are prepared at this time to have Witness Q available if the Defence has any further questions, and we believe that in fairness to her, if they have any further questions, they should ask them to her when she is in The Hague on this occasion.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: To make the transcript absolutely clear, you referred to a letter from 3 December 2002 sent via facsimile and locker to Defence counsel Lukic. And in response to this, we received a letter or a facsimile by Defence counsel Ostojic from December 4, 2002, indicating that the intention would be to put to Witness Q some additional questions. And I understand from the submission we heard today by the Defence counsel that this request is now withdrawn, because it's out of question that whenever there should be a question to Witness Q, it should be when she is here and not to cause additional harm to Witness Q. Do you agree?
MR. OSTOJIC: We do, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then may I formally ask whether protective measures are requested for the witness of today -- or the first witness of today, number 005.
MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. First of all, I'd like to on the record thank the Court for granting our motion to amend the witness list, and also I'm grateful to the Office of the Prosecutor and Mr. Koumjian for 9449 accepting this change. It was unanticipated. We cite the reasons in the motion. We are grateful and thankful for the opportunity to present these witnesses in the order that we suggest in light of the personal handicap that is the prior witnesses have apparently experienced in the last two weeks.
With respect to the Court's question on a pseudonym. The first witness, Witness number 005, we are seeking full protective measures, including name, pseudonym, voice, and face distortion. And I can, if the Court wishes, in private session explain why.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any objections by the Prosecution?
MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour.
[Trial Chamber confers]
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then the pseudonym, this would be DD, is granted and voice and face distortion is granted.
Do we need any additional time or break preparation for this? Thank you.
May we -- before asking Witness 005, now DD, entering the courtroom, may we hear what is your perspective as regards the other witnesses of this week?
MR. OSTOJIC: We'd also be making an application for the same protective measures as we have for Witness named DD for the second witness that will be called, which is Witness number 044.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: And the estimated time you would need for the envisaged all in all six witnesses?
MR. OSTOJIC: We think that we can finish well before Friday, Your 9450 Honour, for all six.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's try to do our very best. It was not possible to tell the parties during the last hearing that the same day in the afternoon we got the message that the Judge's plenary was rescheduled starting Thursday this week. So we should try to do our very best. Take all the time you need, but nevertheless we should try to do the best in order to enable the Judges to participate in part -- at least in part in the plenary. But this shouldn't be the obstacle. Our first purpose and work is no doubt to hear the evidence prepared by the Defence.
MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
MR. OSTOJIC: I'm not sure I understood the Court. If the plenary occurs on Friday, is it for one day or is it for the two days?
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It starts Friday in the morning and continues on -- it starts on Thursday in the morning and continues until Friday.
MR. OSTOJIC: Because one of our witnesses, a further application that we would ask with respect to Witness number 068, he has not arrived with other individuals that have, the other witnesses. He is scheduled to arrive Thursday evening -- Wednesday evening. We were going to make an application today to ask that we either reschedule the hearing and proceed Thursday afternoon so that I could meet with the witness. I have not done so yet. He is not here, as I've stated. Or in the alternative, we were going to seek if we could hear this final witness on Friday, as the final witness. We anticipate that we should be able to conclude the five witnesses that are present at The Hague by the end of the session 9451 Wednesday afternoon or evening at 7.00.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's go into the details of Witness 068 by Wednesday.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Any other administrative matters? Please.
MR. OSTOJIC: Oh, sorry. Thank you. We also were going to make an application, perhaps it's the appropriate time now, for the next witness, 044, pseudonym, face distortion. So I'm not sure if the record reflects that that's -- if the OTP has an objection to it and what the Court's ruling is on that. He's similarly situated as Witness 005. And again we can describe in detail why we believe there's a necessity for it.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Are there objections by the Prosecution?
MR. KOUMJIAN: No, Your Honour.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Granted. And this will be then DE. The Prosecution wanted to take the floor. Please.
MR. KOUMJIAN: I'm just going to inquire if it's at all possible to have that witness come a day earlier so that we can hear the witness Thursday morning, rather than have an empty Thursday. If it's at all possible to reschedule that witness to come. Because I realise that counsel would probably have to work on that now with the Victims and Witnesses Unit, reschedule the last witness to come a day earlier so he's available Thursday morning.
MR. OSTOJIC: We're grateful for any suggestion that the OTP has. 9452 I stand corrected with the number. It was witness number 071 first of all that is not here, who is arriving Wednesday evening. There are many options available to us. One is that we can tell this witness not to show up, 071, until the first session in January. If -- if the Court permits or if all can agree on it.
068 is present. He will proceed as scheduled. 071 was the witness that I mentioned earlier who is arriving Wednesday evening, and we feel we need an opportunity to meet with him, as the OTP has had an opportunity to meet with all their witnesses prior to their testimony.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Is it correct that this would take us no longer than one day session?
MR. OSTOJIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Then let's discuss this issue of 071 on Wednesday.
Anything else? May I then ask that Witness DD be escorted into the courtroom.
[The witness entered court]
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Good afternoon, sir. Can you hear me in a language you understand?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: May we please hear your solemn declaration.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course. Shall I begin? I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
WITNESS: WITNESS DD 9453
[Witness answered through interpreter]
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Thank you. Please be seated, and please understand that you will be addressed in this courtroom not with your name but you will be called Witness or Witness DD. This is a protective measure in your own interest on request of the Defence. Please, the Defence may start.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Examined by Mr. Ostojic:
Q. Good afternoon, Witness DD.
A. Good afternoon.
Q. My name is John Ostojic, and along with our case manager, Danilo Cirkovic, we represent Dr. Milomir Stakic. I'm going to ask you a series of questions here today. First of all, I'd like with the Court's permission to advise you that the Court has granted our request that you be given a pseudonym, which is now DD, and that there be facial and voice distortion. You understand that, correct?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. With the Court's permission, if the usher would be kind enough to show the witness this piece of paper; first, of course, to the OTP. Witness DD, the usher was kind enough to show you a piece of paper which is in front of you. Can you tell us what's written on that paper.
A. My first and last name.
MR. OSTOJIC: For the record, if we could admit that document, Your Honour, as the next Defence exhibit.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This will be admitted into evidence as D41. 9454
MR. OSTOJIC: If we may mark it confidential within the exhibit list.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: This goes without saying.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. May I proceed, Your Honour?
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Yes.
Q. Witness DD, can you please give us your date of birth.
A. Yes, I can. I was born on the 7th of January, 1970.
Q. Can you tell us of your marital status.
A. My marital status is that I'm married and I have one child.
Q. Where do you presently reside? In what town?
A. Currently in Ljubija.
Q. Can you share with us, if you know, how many kilometres that is away from the town of Prijedor.
A. Ljubija is 12 kilometres away from the town of Prijedor.
Q. In what municipality is Ljubija in?
A. It belongs to Prijedor municipality.
Q. And in the spring and summer of 1992, in what municipality was the town of Ljubija within?
A. It belongs to Prijedor municipality.
Q. Can you share with us, please, your ethnic background.
A. I am Serb.
Q. Can you tell us whether both your parents are Serbian.
A. My father is a Serb, and my mother is a Croat. 9455BLANK PAGE 9456
Q. And forgive me for asking, sir, what is the ethnic background of your wife?
A. My wife is also a Croat.
Q. Tell me, if you will: In the spring and summer of 1992, where did you reside?
A. At that time I was in Ljubija.
Q. Quickly, if I may, can you share with us your educational background. What is the highest level of education that you attained and where?
A. I completed my secondary education in 1988 in Prijedor, the fourth grade of secondary education.
Q. What was your area of study or concentration, if any?
A. It was a school for agriculture and nutritionism, and my occupation is I'm an agricultural technician.
Q. Briefly, share with us if you served in the military at any time.
A. Yes. That was before the war. I did my regular military service.
Q. Can you share with us for what period to what period did you serve in the military.
A. I served from the 16th of May, 1989, to the 15th of May, 1990.
Q. Did you have any area of specialty within the military that you concentrated on during that period of time?
A. I was a tank driver, a driver of the M-84 tank. That was my specialty in the army.
Q. I'm now going to turn, Witness DD, to an issue regarding your employment history. I'd like with the Court's permission to go into 9457 closed session with respect to that. The Defence believes if revealed where he presently is employed, it may jeopardise the pseudonym and the protective measures granted by the Court.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: It's good you asked this question right now, because I just wanted to do the same for procedural matters. Let us please go into closed session.
(18 lines redacted) 9458
(4 pages redacted) 9462
(4 lines redacted)
Q. A couple more points if I may, Witness DD, to testify. During your capacity in which you were employed from June of 1992 through February 1993, did you have an opportunity to observe people who were working and were gainfully employed in the Prijedor hospital in the very city of Prijedor? From June 1992 through, at the very least, September 30th of 1992.
A. Yes. All employees of the Prijedor hospital were receiving their salaries.
Q. Let me just, in order to be a little more precise and concrete: Did you during this period of June 1992 through September 30th, 1992, observe that members of all three ethnic groups within the Prijedor municipality continued to work in both the health centre in Ljubija and the Prijedor hospital in the city of Prijedor?
A. As concerns Ljubija, I'm sure about that. Yes, they were there, because I worked there too. As far as the main hospital in Prijedor is concerned, I couldn't be entirely sure.
Q. In your function from June of 1992 through February 1993, did you have an opportunity to take citizens of the Prijedor municipality to the Prijedor hospital? 9463
A. Yes, I did on a daily basis, whenever I had a task to accomplish.
Q. Can you just describe for us the type of people, meaning the injuries that they may have sustained, that you would take them from the health centre in Ljubija to the Prijedor hospital. What type of injuries are we talking about?
A. Personally, I couldn't tell you much about their injuries, but I was following the orders given to me by the doctor who was on duty, and I was driving all the people who needed medical assistance, regardless of their national, ethnic, or political background.
Q. For example, Witness DD, would you take a woman who was pregnant and ready to give birth to her child? Would you be the one who would drive her from the health centre in Ljubija to the Prijedor hospital upon the orders of the physician?
A. Yes. And that's what I was doing. That was my duty.
Q. Did you, sir, also drive during this time period of June 1992 through September 30th, 1992, and beyond citizens who were of the Muslim ethnicity from Ljubija to the Prijedor hospital?
A. Yes, both Muslims and Croats.
Q. As well as Serbs, correct?
A. That's understood.
Q. And was there at any time any request by anyone to prohibit you from driving any citizens in need of medical care and treatment from the area of the Ljubija health centre to the Prijedor hospital which would have in any way or manner prevented you from taking those citizens to the hospital in Prijedor? 9464
A. No. That's a fairly short and simple answer. No.
Q. So is it fair, sir, that during the entire time that you were employed in the capacity in which you described, that you continued to drive people who were in need of medical care and treatment to the Prijedor hospital regardless of their ethnic background or composition, correct?
A. That's correct, as I've said before.
Q. The period immediately prior to April 1992, where were you residing?
A. I was residing with my parents in our family house.
Q. That is located in what town?
A. That's also in Ljubija.
MR. OSTOJIC: With the Court's permission, if we can show the witness Exhibit S1.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please do so.
MR. OSTOJIC: If the usher would be kind enough to assist us. If I may also ask Your Honour if the exhibit would be placed on the ELMO so that --
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: We'd appreciate that.
Q. Witness DD, there's a map that's been introduced and admitted into evidence of the municipality of Prijedor that we have placed on the ELMO. I'm going to ask you if you can be kind enough to point out where did you reside during the spring and summer of 1992? Where were you living?
A. This is the place, Ljubija. That's where I grew up and I have 9465 lived this whole time.
Q. I recognise you may not know this, but it is shaded in green and there's a chart on the top left-hand corner indicating what it means when a town is marked in green. Can you share with us how far, in terms of kilometres, Hambarine is to the town of Ljubija. We see it on the map, but if you could just tell us how many kilometres away it is.
A. About 8 kilometres.
Q. Can you tell us briefly how far away your home in the spring and summer of 1992 was from the Ljubija soccer stadium or football stadium, as they call it in the indictment.
A. My house is about 700 metres away from the pitch, the stadium.
Q. Tell us now, during the time that you were describing your employment of driving from the Ljubija health centre in the Prijedor hospital, basically what route, if you could just share with us using this map, what route would you take?
Q. How often in the spring and summer of 1992 did you make the trip from Ljubija to the town of Prijedor?
A. Until the moment the war broke out, I went on an everyday basis.
Q. With respect to the period that we're discussing, prior to April of 1992, can you describe for us the atmosphere in terms of the general situation for the population in the Prijedor municipality.
A. People stayed at their homes, regardless of their ethnic background.
Q. Can you describe for us what the situation was in terms of the 9466BLANK PAGE 9467 economy. Was it a problem? Was it running smoothly at that time?
A. Well, problems were beginning to show because there was a war raging in neighbouring Croatia, and due to that very fact, the economy was faltering. Salaries decreased and they were not paid regularly.
Q. Was there an anxiety and tension within your community and that which you observed within the city of Prijedor in the municipality of Prijedor in the spring and summer of 1992?
A. There was an amount of anxiety at that time because all ethnicities were afraid of war, and their existence itself was in danger.
Q. A couple more questions with respect to Exhibit S1. Can you tell me within that town of Ljubija that you lived, to the best of your knowledge, information, and observations, were any homes burned in the spring and summer of 1992?
A. In Ljubija itself, during that period not a single house was burnt down.
Q. In the period, just so that I'm clear and so you understand that I'm using this period, because it's a period that's reflected within the indictment that's filed against Dr. Stakic -- the period that not one house was burned in your town of Ljubija, is that true for the period of April 30th, 1992, through September 30th, 1992?
A. That is certainly true of the Ljubija area.
Q. Sir, were you at any time discriminated against - and again, the time period I'd like to confine it to, April through September 1992 - in light of the fact that your mother is Croatian?
A. There weren't any problems. 9468
Q. Did anyone intimidate or harass you during that time period, sir?
A. No one did, not in any sense.
Q. At that time, sir, certainly you had an opportunity to listen to the radio, to watch television, and to read the newspapers. Did you at any time, sir, hear or learn of any propaganda to promote any type of aggression against non-Serbs, namely Muslims and Croats, in the Prijedor municipality in the spring and summer of 1992?
A. No, I never heard anything like that. And as far as I was told later, there had been no such propaganda to begin with, especially as concerns the civilian structures of the government.
Q. Just so that we understand your area and the town that you lived in, there was Donja Ljubija and Gornja Ljubija, correct, and Ljubija itself, correct?
A. Ljubija is a whole, and then there are two constituent parts, Gornja and Donja Ljubija as a local commune.
Q. Okay. In Donja Ljubija, can you tell me what the ethnic composition was of the homes that were in that area.
A. In terms of percentage, 95 per cent were Bosniaks. The remaining 5 per cent were Serbs and Croats.
Q. What about Gornja Ljubija?
A. In Gornja Ljubija, the situation was more mixed in terms of percentage also. Roughly speaking, 25 per cent of the population were Muslims and 30 or 35 per cent each Croats and Serbs respectively.
Q. A couple more questions, if you don't mind, on background. Prior to April of 1992, were you a member or affiliated with a political party? 9469
A. No, not prior to April 1992. I was not a member of any political party.
Q. Were you a member of a political party of April 1992? And if so, tell us when and which party.
A. After April 1992, I became a member of the SDS; at some point in July 1992.
Q. For how long, sir, did you maintain membership within that political party?
A. For about a year.
Q. Did you, sir, prior to April 1992 become familiar with the name of Dr. Milomir Stakic?
A. Yes. I heard the name in the media.
Q. What did you hear of Dr. Milomir Stakic prior to April 1992?
A. Prior to April 1992, I heard Dr. Stakic's name and I heard that he was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor.
Q. Prior to April 1992, did you ever hear Dr. Milomir Stakic give a speech or an interview which would be deemed discriminatory against any ethnic group?
A. No, I didn't. And later on I learnt that Mr. Stakic was not engaged in any propaganda in any type of the media.
Q. And let me clarify, just so that my questions come out proper. So prior to April 1992, you're not aware or didn't hear of any propaganda that would be attributed to Dr. Stakic which can be deemed in some manner as being discriminatory. Subsequent, or after April of 1992, through the period of the spring and summer of 1992, did you personally, sir, hear or 9470 were you ever told that Dr. Stakic at any time issued any speeches or statements which would in any manner even remotely be considered to be discriminatory against any ethnic group within the Prijedor municipality?
A. Personally, I didn't hear anything. And in subsequent conversations with the -- with people in my village, I did not hear anything that would tie Dr. Stakic with any form of propaganda that would be discriminatory against the Serbian population or would call for the ethnic cleansing of the non-Serb population or any other form of discrimination.
MR. OSTOJIC: Let me just be permitted to clarify that answer, Your Honour.
Q. Did you hear -- and you likewise didn't hear any discriminatory speeches made by Dr. Stakic against non-Serbs, correct? In other words, to the best of my recollection, to the best of your observations during that time, having lived in the Prijedor municipality, you did not observe or hear that Dr. Stakic gave or issued any discriminatory remarks against, for example, the Bosniak Muslims or the Croats or any other non-Serbs, correct?
A. That is absolutely correct.
Q. Witness DD, are you a friend of Dr. Stakic's?
A. I don't know Dr. Stakic personally. I have never been introduced to him.
Q. So in the spring and summer of 1992, you did not know Dr. Stakic, correct?
A. That is correct. I didn't know him personally, but I heard of 9471 him.
Q. And you --
A. I knew what position he was in.
Q. And you never met him during the spring and summer of 1992, correct?
A. That is correct, but I never personally met him.
Q. And subsequent or after the spring and summer of 1992, did you have an opportunity to personally meet or become acquainted with Dr. Stakic in any manner?
A. No, I didn't have such an opportunity.
Q. One other general question, if I may, with respect to mobilisation: Were you aware, sir, that in 1991 there was a call-up for mobilisation, a compulsory mobilisation was issued by the military? Are you aware of that?
A. Yes, I know that personally. That is correct. The Yugoslav People's Army, which existed at the time, issued call-up papers for compulsory mobilisation.
Q. Help me with this, since you were in the military for some time, and in your current capacity you may be also familiar with that. The call-up for mobilisation is issued by the military, correct? In other words, it is not issued by the civilian police departments or units, and it's certainly not issued by the local politicians within a municipality, correct?
MR. KOUMJIAN: I object to counsel testifying and giving answers to the witness. We should ask the witness the questions. 9472
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sustained.
Q. Could you tell me, Witness DD, who is it that issues the call-up for mobilisation generally?
A. Generally it is the army who does that. And at the time, it was the Yugoslav People's Army.
Q. It was the army when you served during your military service that would issue these mobilisations, correct? That is, in 1988, as you've identified.
A. That's correct. It was the army who would issue such call-up papers. And prior to the beginning of the war, it was also the task of the military, the army, to issue such call-up papers.
Q. So in 1991, it was the army who issued it. And even to this day, sir, it's the army who issues the compulsory mobilisation of men of military age, correct?
Q. If I may direct your attention to the period of April 30th, 1992, Witness DD. We've for all practical purposes, if I can say, have kind of identified this as a date, so I'm using it for purposes of your testimony as well. Do you recall on or about April 30th, 1992, what occurred in the Prijedor municipality?
A. I remember that date. That was the 30th of April, and then the 1st of May of 1992 there was a takeover of government in Prijedor municipality. The Serbs took over.
Q. Can you describe for us, if you will, whether it was a violent or 9473 non-violent takeover.
A. It was non-violent, and it was the army that took over. But I would like to point out that on that particular day during the takeover of power, nobody was injured or killed or harassed in any way, or put in simple terms, no bullet was fired.
Q. I'd like to take you through the period of April 30th, 1992, through May 22nd, 1992. As the Court has heard, as the OTP has introduced and led evidence, I believe that on or about May 22nd, 1992, was a significant date in the Prijedor municipality because it related to an incident that occurred. Do you remember that on May 22nd, 1992, that an incident occurred in the Prijedor municipality?
A. I remember the date and the incident.
Q. Just if you can tell me, where did the incident on May 22nd, 1992, take place?
A. That incident took place in Pod Hambarine or the so-called field of Prijedor, Prijedorsko Polje, during the afternoon hours of 22nd of May.
Q. On the map is to your right on the ELMO, can you indicate the place, although I think we can see it, on Exhibit S1, where this incident on May 22nd, 1992, occurred.
A. It was somewhere around here.
Q. Just so the record is clear, the witness indicated above and to the right -- slightly above and to the right of the green dot which bears underneath the town name of Hambarine, for clarification purposes. I'll get back to this incident in a few moments. I'd like us to focus if we can now on the period between April 30th, 1992, the takeover, 9474 as you've identified it, and the incident at Hambarine on May 22nd, 1992. Did you, sir, during that time period of approximately three weeks, three-plus weeks, did you have an opportunity to travel from your home in Ljubija to the city town of Prijedor?
A. Yes. I had an opportunity to travel every day; not just me, but all the other citizens of Ljubija, regardless of their ethnic background.
Q. So for that period of time, April 30th through May 22nd, 1992, citizens of the Prijedor municipality freely and actively travelled from, at the very least, your home town of Ljubija to the city town of Prijedor, correct?
A. That is correct. They travelled either by their own personal vehicles or by public transportation.
Q. I recognise you were a relatively young man at that time. Can you share with us, if you will, the purpose of your travels from Ljubija to the city centre town of Prijedor.
A. I travelled for various purposes. Prijedor was the centre of that municipality.
Q. Did you travel to socialise with other friends, neighbours from within the municipality? Correct?
A. That is correct, and also to obtain some things for everyday life. All the municipal structures of authority are in Prijedor: The police, and the places where we could obtain documents. So everything is in Prijedor; that's why we went there.
Q. During that period of April 30th through May 22nd, 1992, did you observe that these institutions that you identified were working and 9475 continued to work in the same manner as they had prior to April 30th, 1992?
A. It was obvious. Everything continued as before.
Q. Was there at any time during this period, sir, an outbreak of violence or social disorder that you observed?
A. No, there was no violence against anybody. Although, there was a surge of tensions.
Q. And why is that, sir? If you know.
A. People were afraid of war. They were afraid because the economic situation deteriorated. They were afraid of having to go on the dole, to become unemployed. So they were scared for their livelihood.
Q. Was there an exodus or a forcible transfer of Muslims or Croatians during -- let me repeat the question. I apologise. I had the mic off. Sir, to the best of your observations and recollection, during the period of April 30th, 1992, through May 22nd, 1992, did you observe any forced transfers of non-Serbs from the Prijedor municipality?
A. I didn't observe anything like that, and it didn't take place at all.
Q. And share with us why you say that it did not take place.
A. Nobody felt the need to move anywhere, because nobody was harassed during that period of time.
Q. And likewise, during that period of time, no one was involuntarily forcing citizens of Prijedor to leave their respective homes, correct?
A. That is correct. Not even the military structures did that, let alone the civilian authorities. 9476
Q. Now, turning to the date of the incident at Hambarine, May 22nd, 1992. You were in the Prijedor municipality, specifically in your town, I believe, of Ljubija. Can you describe for us what is it that you learned that occurred with respect to the incident that we've identified at Hambarine which occurred on May 22nd, 1992.
A. I learnt about the incident on the evening of the same day, and I learned that some people, that is, some soldiers, had been killed in that place.
Q. Did you learn, sir, from what area the soldiers were coming from?
A. Yes, I did. The soldiers were members of the Yugoslav People's Army, which existed at the time, and they were on their way back from Manjaca training ground, and it was the weekend, so they were on the way back home, to their homes.
Q. Using the map that's to your right, Exhibit S1, identify for us, if you know or can find the area of Manjaca. If you could.
MR. KOUMJIAN: Well, it's not going to be. This is a map of --
MR. OSTOJIC: I'm just not sure if the witness could generally. But with the Court's permission, we'd like to show him a different map. And perhaps he could help us with that.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not on this map.
MR. OSTOJIC: Okay. Yes, thank you, Madam Registrar.
THE REGISTRAR: S14, for the record.
MR. OSTOJIC: If the usher would be kind enough to place Exhibit S14 on the ELMO. And, Witness DD, utilising this exhibit, can you show us, please, where these JNA soldiers, some of whom were killed at 9477BLANK PAGE 9478 Hambarine on May 22nd, 1992, were coming from.
A. Here I can't see Manjaca training ground. It is not on the map.
Q. Perhaps at the break we'll be able to clarify that and we could come back to this question, with the Court's permission, I think. Thank you.
Describe for me to the extent that you know how many soldiers were in this vehicle that were attacked on or about May 22nd, 1992, at Hambarine.
A. It was a Golf vehicle. There were six members of the Yugoslav People's Army in that vehicle. Four of them were Serbs, and two of them were Croats.
Q. And subsequent to that date of that incident, you became aware of who those individuals specifically were, correct?
Q. Can you list for us, to the best of your recollection, their names.
A. I may not be able to recall all of their names, at least not their first names. But I know all of their family names. There was a guy called Lukic. He was shot dead. There was another one called Milojica who was also shot dead. Ratko Milojica who was the first Milojica's cousin, he was injured. Sinisa Mijatovic was injured, Nedeljko Antunovic, and Miroslav Lujic.
Q. [Microphone not activated]
THE INTERPRETER: Please, your microphone.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you. 9479
Q. Did you come to learn, Witness DD, who was it that shot at these JNA soldiers and ultimately killing two and wounding two?
A. I learnt later on that those were Muslims, that is, inhabitants of Hambarine.
Q. Did you at that time, sir, subsequent to the incident that occurred on May 22nd, 1992 -- or I should say, immediately thereafter, did you hear over the radio or television an ultimatum that was issued to the residents of Hambarine?
A. Yes. It -- I did hear that on Radio Prijedor. This was issued by the military authorities in order to have the perpetrators of that crime extradited. The ultimatum was issued for the perpetrators to be extradited by the following day, by noon of the following day. So they wanted the perpetrators to surrender by the following noon.
Q. Just so that we're clear in the couple moments that we have before our break, which I'm anticipating, did you at that time hear of any ultimatums given by any of the civilian authorities within the Prijedor municipality involving the incident of Prijedor and this ultimatum?
A. I didn't hear of any. None of the locals informed me about any such thing.
Q. And the ultimatum that you heard to the citizens or the residents of Hambarine came from the military, correct?
Q. That ultimatum, sir, was strictly confined - I believe your testimony was - that the perpetrators of the attack on the Serb -- on the soldiers of the JNA, which killed two Serbs and wounded two others, Croats 9480 as well, that they be turned over to the authorities; correct?
A. That is correct. They were to turn over to the military authorities.
Q. Was there a specific leader within that town that the military authorities perceived as the critical perpetrator of the crime against its soldiers?
A. The military authorities at the time blamed the person called Aziz Aliskovic, who was, so to say, the leader of that group.
Q. To the best of your recollection, sir, did the ultimatum ask that all the citizens turn themselves in as a result of this incident on May 22nd, 1992?
A. No. They just wanted the perpetrators to turn themselves in, not the rest of the local population.
Q. I understand. I just want to record to be ultimately clear. Did this ultimatum, sir, that the military issued on May 22nd, 1992, as a result of this incident on the JNA soldier, did they request that all the citizens of the town of Hambarine turn in their weapons?
A. As far as I can remember, this was not required at the time.
Q. Did the ultimatum require, sir, that all the citizens of the town of Hambarine who were of military age turn themselves in to the army or the military authorities as a result of the incident wherein the JNA soldiers were attacked, killed, and wounded?
A. No. It didn't apply to all men of military age but only to the perpetrators, the direct perpetrators of that crime, the direct participants in that incident. 9481
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: The trial stands adjourned until 4.15.
--- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
--- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please be seated. And please continue immediately.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Witness DD, a couple more questions with respect to the incident that occurred at Hambarine on May 22nd, 1992. To the best of your recollection and observation, was the ultimatum that was issued by the military accepted by the perpetrators of this crime?
A. The ultimatum was not accepted by noon on the 23rd of May, 1992, so the army extended the ultimatum by another 15 minutes, in the hope that the perpetrators would be surrendered, which did not take place.
Q. The ultimatum issued by the army was not accepted with respect to this incident relating to Hambarine. Before I ask you what occurred after the ultimatum was issued and after it was not accepted, give us to the best of your recollection, having lived only several kilometres from Hambarine and passing through there from time to time, describe for us how many homes first are in this region that has been identified as the Brdo area.
MR. OSTOJIC: And I'd ask with the Court's permission that the usher again tender to you to be shown on the ELMO Exhibit S1.
Q. So first, if you may, describe for us what is it that this region, which is known as the Brdo region, what towns would it include?
A. The area referred to as the Brdo area contains a number of 9482 villages, the following one: Hambarine, Carakovo, Rizvanovici, Rakovcani, Biscani.
Q. In this Brdo area, can you tell us how many homes approximately are there or were there in the spring and summer of 1992.
A. I don't know the exact number, but there must be between four and five thousand homes.
Q. And now, to be a little more precise with respect to the town of Hambarine, approximately how many homes, to the best of your recollection, having lived there most, if not all of your life, were there within this town of Hambarine?
A. In the town of Hambarine itself, perhaps several hundred, between six and seven hundred homes, I'd say. That's my best estimate.
Q. After the ultimatum was not accepted by the perpetrators who attacked the JNA soldiers on May 22nd, 1992, what, if anything, occurred?
A. After that, at around 20 minutes past noon on the 23rd of May, the shelling of houses began, houses located between the Prijedor Polje, and the highest point near Hambarine. The shelling -- the road, the Ljubija-Prijedor road was shelled and only the area where the road was was shelled.
Q. Did you, sir, have an opportunity after the shelling or after May 22nd, 1992, to pass through this Ljubija-Prijedor road which had been shelled?
A. Two or three days later you could use the road, yes.
Q. Did you, sir, at any time subsequent to May 22nd, 1992, pass through the road and make personal observations of the homes that were 9483 shelled?
A. Yes, I did use the road. The first time was on the 6th of June, 1992. I was going somewhere on duty, and I saw the amount of destruction that had occurred up to that point.
Q. Can you tell us to the best of your recollection what your observations were at that point, namely, how many roads on that road, in that town, and in that village and in that region were shelled or destroyed.
A. About 40 or 50 houses had been shelled, houses, as I've said, located between the highest point inside Hambarine and a place referred to as the Prijedor Polje, halfway through the Prijedor Polje. Just off the road, to the left and to the right of the road.
MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, with the Court's permission.
Q. I thought, Mr. Witness DD, that you said maximally or at a maximum of 50 homes. I'm not asking you to change your -- alter your testimony. The record reflects that you said 40 to 50. But I thought you said approximately 40, maximally 50 homes. Could you just, to be more precise and accurate, share with us that what you observed.
A. As concerns the number, the number was between 40 and 50 homes. I saw destroyed houses with roofs destroyed. Some houses had burnt down due to the shelling. And those homes were abandoned, empty.
Q. And the homes that you saw near the Polje, as you described, were the homes where the incident wherein those two JNA soldiers were fatally shot and the two others were wounded, correct? That was generally the area where this incident that we've identified of May 22nd, 1992, 9484 occurred, correct?
MR. KOUMJIAN: Objection. Counsel leading the witness, suggesting answers to the question.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sustained.
Q. Can you tell us, Witness DD, approximately, with respect to the homes that were targeted and where the incident occurred on May 22nd, 1992, the relationship between those two.
A. Well, I don't know the real relationship, but I think it must have been the fury of the military because their requests for the perpetrators of the crime that had taken place to be surrender was not accepted.
Q. The homes beyond the road, of the Ljubija-Prijedor road, that were not at its highest peaks, they were not shelled and were not burned, at least at the time that you observed them, namely, after June 6th, 1992, correct?
MR. KOUMJIAN: Objection. Counsel leading the witness, suggesting answers. He hasn't testified to that so far.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: [Microphone not activated] I believe the witness did indeed --
THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Dismissed. Please answer.
Q. Can you answer the --
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please answer.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I didn't understand the 9485 question. Can I please have the question repeated.
MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour.
Q. And I'll read it just so that we're clear: "The homes beyond the road of the Ljubija-Prijedor road that were not at its highest peaks, they were not shelled and were not burned, at least at the time that you observed them, namely, after June 6th, 1992, correct?"
A. That's correct. Those homes had not been burned. They were still inhabited.
Q. Just going back to one issue that we covered. I forgot to ask you this, with respect to the mobilisation: At the time of 1992, sir, you were approximately 22 years of age, the mobilisation in 1991, were you asked to serve - excuse me - in the military in 1991?
A. No, no.
Q. At any time after the mobilisation calls in September and November of 1991, were you ever called to be mobilised with the army?
A. No. I was not mobilised, nor had I ever received any call-up papers, nor did I volunteer for military service, for that matter.
Q. And do you know why it is that you were not called for mobilisation or for service in 1991 or thereafter?
A. I don't know. I never received the mobilisation call-up. It was never given to me. So no one looked for me.
Q. Thank you. Now, going back to the chronology. Following May 22nd, 1992, the incident at Hambarine, did you become, sir, familiar with another incident that occurred on or about May 24th, 1992?
A. I believe there was an incident in Kozarac, or more specifically, 9486 the hamlet of Jakupovici. That's also near the Prijedor-Banja Luka road.
Q. If you could just point to the area where this incident at Kozarac on May 24th, 1992, occurred. And we're talking about the map to your right, which is S1.
A. It was here.
MR. OSTOJIC: So that the record is clear, the witness was pointing to an area to the left, if we're facing the map, of the green dot with the name above it "Kozarac," which is to the right to the village of Kozarusa.
Q. What, sir, did you learn about the incident of May 24th, 1992, at Kozarac?
A. I learned that a military group with a freight motor vehicle was moving from Banja Luka -- was supposed to be moving from Banja Luka in the direction of Prijedor, and the then-military authorities requested that all physical obstacles be removed. That would make it impossible for the military personnel to pass through or the military vehicles towards Prijedor, referring to at least 100 metres to the left or to the right of the road itself. This request was not complied with, and then a freight motor vehicle came along at some point in the afternoon or the evening on the 24th of May. The vehicle reached this point, this critical point, and was fired at. The driver of the lorry - I can't remember his name - was killed.
Q. These physical obstacles that you described, were they road barricades or checkpoints placed within the Banja Luka-Prijedor road?
A. I can't say exactly whether those were barricades or checkpoints, 9487 but there were groups of armed people there, Bosniaks, who controlled that section of the road.
Q. And that area, sir, predominantly consisted of citizens of Prijedor municipality of what ethnic background?
A. They were predominantly Bosniaks. Bosniak population predominantly, about 99 per cent.
Q. Was there, sir, a military response to this incident and attack on this freight motor vehicle convoy passing through the Banja Luka-Prijedor road on May 24th, 1992?
A. I think there was another ultimatum for the perpetrators of that incident, of that crime, to be turned over. And again, this ultimatum was not met with. And then the members of the army started to shell the Kozarac area.
Q. Who issued the ultimatum after the military freight vehicle and convoy were attacked that we've identified as the incident on May 24th, 1992?
A. I don't personally know who it was, but I know that it was issued by the then-JNA, Yugoslav People's Army.
Q. Do you know if the civilian police within the Prijedor municipality issued any such ultimatums as a result of this incident on May 24th, 1992?
A. The civilian police, I'm sure, didn't.
Q. Likewise, do you know or did you hear at that time whether the civilian authorities in the Prijedor municipality issued any type of ultimatum relating to the incident, namely the attack on the JNA freight 9488BLANK PAGE 9489 motor vehicle passing through the Banja Luka-Prijedor road on or about May 24th, 1992?
A. At that time we, the locals, were familiar with the military and security situation through the media, but personally I heard nothing in the media that the civilian authorities in Prijedor might have been in charge of.
Q. Following the refusal of the ultimatum issued by the military, as you've identified and testified to, the military responded and attacked the Kozarac area, correct?
A. The town of Kozarac and the surrounding hamlets were attacked.
Q. The next incident, if you will, that we have identified is on or about May 30th, 1992. Are you familiar, sir, with what, if any, significance that date has?
A. I know about that particular incident. We refer to it as the attack on Prijedor or the clash between the Yugoslav People's Army and the armed groups of Bosniaks, mostly Bosniaks, who did not belong to any of the JNA units.
Q. I'll just back up with a couple of questions. Would this, sir, be -- or tell us, because I don't want to lead -- tell us how many incidents occurred in roughly what period of time, starting with the incident in Hambarine, up to and including the incident at the attack on Prijedor on May 30th, 1992.
A. Well, between these two dates, the only incident was the one at Kozarac on the 24th, as we have just stated. But there were no other incidents apart from that one. 9490
Q. So those three incidents within that approximate eight- to nine-day period, correct? From the 22nd through the 30th.
A. Yes. I'm talking about the one at Kozarac. There were no other incidents of any kind.
Q. Now, describe for us, to the best of your recollection, having lived in the area and travelled through Prijedor in the spring and summer of 1992, who attacked the town of Prijedor?
A. You mean the 30th of May?
Q. Thank you. I do.
A. The attack was carried out by armed groups of Bosniaks.
Q. How did you come to learn that?
A. I learned that through the media, Radio Prijedor, which was providing news on the situation on the ground all the time, news concerning the political and security situation throughout Prijedor municipality.
Q. Do you know the size of this group that attacked the town of Prijedor on May 30th, 1992?
A. I can't remember the exact size. I think there must have been about 200 armed members of these groups.
Q. Just so that I'm clear and so that I don't misunderstand, this was neither a small group nor a resistance group that attacked the town of Prijedor on May 30th, 1992, correct?
MR. KOUMJIAN: Objection. Counsel is putting words into the witness's mouth.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: That's a normal problem with leading and 9491 misleading questions. Sustained.
MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, if I just may be heard.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you. On paragraph 18 of the 4th amended indictment, specifically the charge as laid out by the Prosecutor seems to indicate that they've captioned and coined this attack as a resistance group. This witness, as counsel has from time to time asked us, the Defence, to put our case to the witnesses.
We simply are asking this witness, one, does he constitute this 200 Bosniak Muslims who attacked Prijedor quantifyingly as small, as the OTP does on paragraph 18? And how is it that he would classify them as attackers or a resistance group, as they do within their indictment? I think we have an obligation to clarify that issue, although we can make the argument in our briefs, as well as orally, I think it's necessary -- and we are trying to confine it specifically to the 4th amended indictment.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Please.
MR. KOUMJIAN: Just briefly, Your Honour. Rule 90(H), which deals with putting your case to the witness, only applies of course to cross-examination. Counsel are not allowed to state what they want a witness to say to their own witness in order to get a favourable answer.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: As I said earlier, sustained.
Q. Could you describe for us, sir, the nature and extent of the attack by the Bosniak Muslims on the town of Prijedor on May 30th, 1992. 9492
A. They attacked the JNA. One of the soldiers was seriously wounded. He was the commander of a platoon or a squad, Zoran Karlica. Two days later, Zoran Karlica died from the wounds received on that day.
Q. Was there, if any, resistance to the attack by the Bosniak Muslims of the town of Prijedor on or about May 30th, 1992?
A. There was only resistance against those who were firing their weapons at members of the JNA.
Q. Was there a military response to this attack on the town of Prijedor on May 30th, 1992?
A. There was no military response at that time, not as concerns the civilian population, the non-Serb civilian population.
Q. With the exception of the army officer Zoran Karlica, who you identified who died several days as a result of the wound that he sustained on or about May 30th, 1992, were there other casualties?
A. I heard there was another person, but I can't recall the name of that person.
Q. Do you know or did you learn whether any of the attackers, namely the Bosniak Muslims, were captured, wounded, or sustained fatal injuries?
A. I can't answer the question because I didn't participate in the event, nor did I hear anything about that.
Q. At any time, sir, did you learn or hear that within this group there were purportedly Bosnian Croats who also attacked the town of Prijedor?
A. I did hear that, and I understand there was a small number of Bosnian Croats among them. 9493
Q. Given the three incidences that occurred within this eight-day period, can you describe for us, if you recall, what the tensions were of the citizens within the Prijedor municipality immediately following May 30th, 1992.
A. The tensions culminated. However, there was no persecution. There was no ethnic cleansing. There were no murders, killings, or similar things.
Q. Were the tensions high, average, or low during this period of time?
A. The tensions peaked at the time. They were high.
Q. Let me take you, as I had before, through another period or section. And if permitted, I'm asking you to focus, Witness DD, specifically on the period following May 30th, 1992, up to and including July 21st, 1992. That approximate seven-week period is the period that the following questions will be addressed.
Within that period, May 30th, 1992, through July 21st, 1992, did you observe or hear of any incidents, attacks, killings, or harassment by or against any ethnic group within the Prijedor municipality?
A. During that period, there was no harassment. There was no organised harassment, that is, by any of the ethnic groups against any other ethnic groups.
Q. Were there any incidents similar to those that occurred in that eight-day period from May 22nd through May 30th, 1992, that would have occurred from the period of May 30th, 1992, through July 21st, 1992?
A. There weren't any. Everybody stayed at home. Nobody was 9494 harassed. Nobody was taken away. Nobody was ill-treated.
Q. Were tensions stabilised throughout that entire period?
A. They did, to a certain extent.
Q. To what extent?
A. The life became more or less normal again.
Q. Did you, sir, continue to work during that period?
A. I did. I went to work every day, and I performed the duties that I have already described.
Q. And you travelled, sir, as you've described, from Ljubija to Prijedor on a regular and consistent and continuous basis, correct, during that period again, May 30th through July 21st, 1992?
A. Yes, that is correct. As need may have been, and that need mostly occurred every day.
Q. Were you able to observe, sir, within that period of time, May 30th through July 21st, 1992, whether Bosniak Muslims and Croats likewise were gainfully employed and going to work during this period?
A. Yes. They did work to the extent that was possible, because some of the companies were closed down, but some public institutions continued working, such as the healthcare, the judiciary, the police, and similar public services.
Q. Were you able, sir, to observe whether Bosniak Muslims and Croatians were employed, for example, in the health centre in Ljubija during this time period, May 30th through July 21st, 1992?
A. To the same extent as prior to the critical 30th of April. I personally witnessed that. 9495
Q. Just so that I may have a concrete answer, is that a yes, no, or you're not sure? I don't want to leave it open for interpretation.
A. I won't leave it open. The answer is yes.
Q. Could you tell us, sir - and we're moving right along - to what significance do you attribute the date of July 21st, 1992, if any?
A. I believe that there was an incident on that day.
Q. And on that day, there was an incident --
A. On that day -- actually, it was in the evening of that day. In a village close to Hambarine, the village called Rizvanovici - and I can now see it on the ELMO --
Q. Just so the record is clear, when you're pointing, Witness DD, you're pointing to that which is on the right of the identified town of Rizvanovici, correct?
A. This is Rizvanovici, and yes, it is correct.
Q. Share with us, if you will, the circumstances surrounding the incident which occurred in the evening of July 21st, 1992, to the best of your recollection.
A. Two soldiers were killed by armed Muslims, and this is how the incident took place. The soldiers, whose last names were Joskic and Daljevic, were standing guard in the village of Rizvanovici, and during that night the villagers called them from a house - I don't know which house that was - they invited them in to have a cup of coffee, and the soldiers did that. And they stayed in the house with the hosts for about half an hour, up to an hour, and then fire was opened on them. I can't remember exactly whether that happened in the house or when they left the 9496 house, so outside the house.
Q. [Microphone not activated] You gave us the name of Joskic and --
THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, sir.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
Q. You gave us the name of Joskic and Daljevic. Is it Zoran Joskic? Would that be his first name, so we can be precise?
A. I believe the name was Zoran.
Q. Do you recall the first name of the soldier who was killed on or about July 21st by the name of Daljevic, what his first name was?
A. I can't remember his name, but I knew both of the soldiers personally, because they resided some 5 kilometres away from my house in a village called Ljeskare in the direction of Prijedor.
Q. Is that village depicted on the map that the Prosecutor entered into evidence as S1?
A. That village is not depicted on the map. The name of that village is not on the map, but I can point to the place where that village is. The name of the village is Ljeskare and that is the village where the two soldiers resided, if that is what you meant.
MR. OSTOJIC: Just so the record is clear, the village, as we can see it, within this map, Exhibit S1, appears approximately near or where the letter "H" on the word Hambarine appears, correct?
A. That is correct, yes.
Q. Clarify for me, if you will, what these two military soldiers were doing in Rizvanovici on or about July 21st, 1992.
A. They had to stand guard, to provide security for soldiers or any 9497 other citizen and to prevent further clashes or armed attacks by those who did not belong to the army and similar people.
Q. Do you know, sir, how long these two villages were standing guard in the town of Rizvanovici prior to July 21st, 1992?
A. I can't tell you that. I can't remember. But I believe that it was a couple of days prior to that because there was a daily change-over of guards. There were daily shifts.
Q. Was there, to the best of your recollection, any type of ultimatum issued by the military in connection with the death of its two soldiers on or about July 21st, 1992?
A. There was no ultimatum, but the army organised itself. They reached Hambarine on the following day.
Q. If I can just interrupt you for a moment. We'll get to that; however, let me just clarify a couple other issues. Was there an ultimatum by the police authorities against the citizens of the town of Rizvanovici on or about July 21st, 1992, as a result of these two soldiers being killed?
A. There was no ultimatum because the persons who had been killed were army members. So it was under the authority of the army to issue such an ultimatum.
Q. Was there, sir, an ultimatum issued by the civilian authorities from the Prijedor municipality regarding the two soldiers that were killed on July 21st, 1992?
A. Again, they did not have any such authority, because again, the two persons killed were members of the army. 9498
Q. Did the military, sir, I believe as you were starting to explain, respond to the killing of its two men after July 21st, 1992?
A. On the following day, the military reacted in the following way: On the axis between Hambarine-Rizvanovici-Biscani, they wanted to gather all able-bodied men of Bosniak ethnicity in order to be able to control them because they believed that the crime had been perpetrated by an adult man who carried arms. It could not have been done by a child or an elderly person. The only people or the person who could have committed the crime was somebody who was able-bodied, who was fit for military service.
Q. Did the citizens of that area relinquish their arms?
A. I believe that this had been done even before, while it was still peaceful, up to 21st of July. So by the 21st of July, all the arms had been relinquished. The locals in the area who had licence to carry firearms had relinquished them. I'm talking about the firearms for which licences were issued by the Prijedor police. The authorities had a good enough insight into the arms which were legally possessed by the locals.
Q. Did the military, following their request, secure and arrest the able-bodied men of Bosniak ethnicity in the towns that you mentioned after July 21st, 1992?
A. Yes. It happened on the 22nd of July in the area between Hambarine and Biscani.
Q. Were you, sir, at any time subsequent to this, specifically July 23rd, asked or requested by the army to assist them and act as an escort to transport any of these men to any detention centres? 9499BLANK PAGE 9500
A. Yes. It was on the 22nd of July. I was not on duty. I had a day off. So they came and asked me to join them.
Q. The request came from whom?
A. Members of the military authorities.
Q. Was this request in your mind compulsory or voluntary? Could you have, in other words, rejected their request to assist in the escort of these Bosniak Muslims from that area, namely Rizvanovici?
A. It's very difficult for me to say that; however, I did not turn down this request for the reasons of safety of my family. I wanted my family to be safe.
Q. So you accepted their request. Did you, sir, in fact proceed to escort a bus of Bosniak Muslims from the Brdo region on or after July 22nd, the day following the killing of two soldiers, in 1992 July?
A. Yes. I escorted one bus from Rizvanovici.
Q. Describe for us, if you will, first the size of the bus, the number of people within the bus, and whether or not anyone else assisted you in escorting these people to a detention centre following the killing of these two military men on the 21st of July.
A. I served as an escort to a normal-sized bus. It was a bus which served for local transportation within the town with more standing places than sitting places. The bus was full of people. Those who were not sitting on the seats were sitting on the floor of the bus.
Q. There was a bus driver, I presume, on the bus along with you, correct?
A. There was a driver and there was another soldier with me. 9501
Q. During your journey, which we'll get to in a moment, you were able to observe what, if anything, would occur to these Bosniak Muslims from the Brdo region throughout their journey, correct?
A. Yes. I was an eyewitness, and I was not their escort, but I provided security for them and I made sure that nothing happened to these people during their journey.
Q. You were likewise on the bus, correct, with them?
A. Yes, I was standing by the driver, facing the passengers. My back was turned towards the windshield.
Q. Describe for us where while you were on the bus this bus travelled. And if possible, can you utilise the map, S1, to show us the route that you took on or about July 22nd, 1992.
A. The route was from Rizvanovici on to Biscani; from there, on to Prijedor. It proceeded towards Kozarusa, Kozarac, and other places on the way, all the way to Omarska.
Q. Did the bus which you were in, did it stop at Prijedor or any other villages during this journey from the Brdo area to Omarska?
A. No, it didn't stop.
Q. The first time that the bus would have stopped was when it came to Omarska, correct?
A. That is correct.
Q. Taking specifically just the time for this voyage, were any of the detainees on this bus at any time from the time that they were loaded on the bus to the time you came to Omarska mistreated?
A. Nobody was mistreated. There was just me and another soldier as 9502 escorts and the bus didn't stop anywhere.
Q. Were the people in the bus - again limiting you to the time frame of this journey - were they at any time beaten?
A. Nobody was beaten. Those who had the place to sit were sitting on the seats. The others were sitting on the floor. And they faced the windshield, so their faces were turned towards the driver.
Q. Did anyone curse or harass them in any fashion during this journey or attempt to humiliate them?
A. Absolutely not. The driver did his job, and the two of us did exactly what we were supposed to do very correctly.
Q. Were you armed?
A. Yes, we were, both of us.
Q. How many people, to the best of your recollection, were in this bus that travelled from the Brdo area to Omarska on or about July 22nd, 1992?
A. There were about 60 people.
Q. To the best of your recollection, sir, was this the only bus that travelled with residents of the Brdo area from the Brdo area to Omarska on July 22nd, 1992?
A. No, this was not the only bus. There were several buses. But this was the last but one.
Q. Do you recall how many buses there were?
A. I can't remember exactly. I don't know. Buses were coming in turns, taking people there and coming back.
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Sorry to interrupt. How can you know that this 9503 was the last bus? Did you have control over all the buses driving, leaving?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the last but one. The last came after my bus, the bus that I was escorting. And then there were -- there were no other buses after that. And there were no persons left to be taken anywhere. So the group in my bus was the second last group. I'm talking about people who were considered to be people of military age and possible perpetrators of the crimes that had taken place the night before.
Q. Witness DD, to assist the Court also in its question, which we were hoping to get to, you were actually not allowed to exit and to drop off the people from the Brdo area at Omarska, correct? And you were sent to another detention centre, correct?
A. Not that we were not allowed. We did reach Omarska. We stopped outside the iron ore mine factory in Omarska. A military unit was waiting for us there.
Q. Did you depart the bus when you arrived at Omarska?
A. Yes, I did personally, and the driver did too, as well as the soldier. All the other persons remained inside the bus.
Q. Were you engaged in a conversation with anyone from within the Omarska detention centre relating to the people who were on the bus from the Brdo region?
A. A soldier, I think he was an officer, a military officer, approached our group and asked whether this was the bus bringing the people from the Brdo area, and I said, "Yes, this is a bus from Brdo, just 9504 like the next one coming after us." And after these next two, there would be no more coming from the Brdo area, because no people were left there to be taken anywhere.
Q. Did the Bosniak Muslims who were within this bus, did they depart the bus in the Omarska detention centre?
A. No, they didn't leave the bus for the simple reason that this officer, as I've referred to him, said that they couldn't take in any more people because they had no room left to put people up. He insisted that these last two buses go to Trnopolje instead. This same officer spoke to the military over at Trnopolje and they had given him the green light for the buses to leave for Trnopolje.
Q. Was this, sir, your first visit to the Omarska detention centre?
A. The first and the last, within a period of about five minutes.
Q. I recognise that it's a short period. Can you describe for us, sir, the facility itself to the best of your recollection, whether there were buildings or simply one building, whether there was a fence surrounding the area, et cetera. And also tell us, if you'd be kind enough, whether you observed any people who were within Omarska standing against the wall.
A. Firstly, it's an industrial zone we're speaking about. Of course there was a fence there, but this fence was no barbed wire fence or a fence through which you couldn't see outside. There are rooms there, buildings, and factory halls, or the buildings used for the operations of the iron ore mine. I saw a number of people outside one of the buildings just outside the factory. They were lined up against a wall. 9505
Q. [Microphone not activated] How many people approximately did you see lined up against the wall?
THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
MR. OSTOJIC: My apologies.
Q. Approximately how many people did you see lined up against the wall?
A. Perhaps about a busload of people, 50, 60 people. I don't know exactly. I can't remember. I didn't count them.
Q. Did you observe, sir, at that time whether there were any corpses or dead bodies within the Omarska detention centre?
A. Not that I saw any during the short time that I spent there. No people being beaten, no people being physically mistreated or anything like that.
Q. Did you see, sir, or were you able to observe any signs of any of the detainees of injuries that they may have sustained as a result of beatings?
A. As far as I know, as far as I saw while I was there, I didn't see any signs of possible beatings or other kinds of injuries or anyone that I saw there. The persons I saw standing next to that wall I talked about, of course.
Q. How about any other persons that you may have observed within that Omarska detention centre? Were you able to see or observe any injuries as a result of beatings on that day when you were there for that approximate five or so minutes?
A. From a distance of about 20 metres, I did not observe anything 9506 unusual.
Q. Okay. Moving along, did you proceed then, sir, to escort or assist in security of this convoy of Bosnian Muslims from Omarska to Trnopolje immediately thereafter?
A. Yes. Our orders were to take these two buses to Trnopolje. We moved down the following route: Omarska-Petrov Gaj-Trnopolje. That was the route we took.
Q. From whom did you receive these orders?
A. From the military authorities in Omarska.
Q. Did you obtain any such orders from civilian authorities or police authorities?
A. No. There was no way for us to receive orders from them, because there were no police or civilian authorities there at that time.
Q. Did you proceed to make it to the Trnopolje detention centre on or about July 22nd, 1992?
A. Yes, that's right, the 22nd of July, sometime in the afternoon.
Q. Had you ever been to the Trnopolje detention centre prior to this day?
A. No, never. Nor had I ever had the opportunity or a need to go there.
Q. Describe for us, if you will, what you observed when you came to the Trnopolje detention centre on July 22nd, 1992.
A. As I've said, we arrived in the afternoon. I noticed some sort of a cultural hall with all the facilities and a spacious yard outside that building. There were quite a lot of people there, civilians, women, 9507 children, elderly people, military-aged men too.
Q. Tell us whether or not there was a barbed wire fence that surrounded the Trnopolje detention centre on or about July 22nd, 1992.
A. Where we arrived from, and as far as I can remember, there was no barbed wire. Even the fence around the cultural hall that I talked about was sort of half destroyed, pulled down, probably even before the war broke out.
Q. Were you able to observe, sir, whether or not people were sleeping within make-shift tents outside in this spacious yard that you've identified before?
A. It was all inside the yard, and those who couldn't be put up inside one of the buildings or surrounding facilities were put up inside tents, because it was summer and it was quite warm.
Q. Were there vehicles also within the Trnopolje detention centre that you observed?
A. Aside from a number of civilian [as interpreted] vehicles, there were civilian vehicles there belonging to the people inside the camp, their tractors and the trailers.
MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, Your Honour, with all due respect to the interpreter, I think the witness said "aside from military vehicles, there were civilian vehicles that belonged to the citizens who were within there." But I'd ask just that we make a record of it and then we could obviously verify and correct that.
THE INTERPRETER: Yes, correction, military.
MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you. 9508
Q. How long were you at the Trnopolje camp on this first visit there on July 22nd, 1992?
A. Well, first of all, I did not see it as a camp back then. I thought it was a collection centre where persons came -- at least, the ones who had arrived before the busloads of people I talked about -- in order to be given the necessary protection, because their houses had been destroyed. Most of the people there were people whose houses had been destroyed on the 24th of May or on the 22nd of May. I am talking about the Hambarine and Kozarac areas. Those persons' houses had been destroyed in combat operations, and they had nowhere to stay or no roof over their heads, so they just flocked to Trnopolje.
Q. To the best of your abilities and recollection, do you recall the number of people that were within this Trnopolje detention centre on July 22nd, 1992?
A. As far as I can remember, about 300 or 400 people, but I can't say with certainty because I couldn't see everyone who was inside.
Q. Were you able to observe, sir, whether there were men, women, and children within this detention centre on that date?
A. Yes. As I've said before, there were women there, children too, elderly people, and military-aged persons. Whole families were there.
Q. Did you, sir, observe while you were at the Trnopolje detention centre whether any of the people within that detention centre were beaten or otherwise injured in any manner?
A. I didn't see any such thing happening, and I saw personally, as concerns the people who were staying in the collection centre, the 9509 Trnopolje collection centre, I spoke to them. I asked them where they were from, how they arrived there, and how they were treated in the camp.
Q. Just for the purposes of being thorough - I failed to ask you this question - during your journey from Omarska to Trnopolje on July 22nd, within that period of time, were any of the Bosniak Muslims who were on this bus in which you were providing security mistreated, beaten, harassed, or intimidated?
A. Absolutely not.
Q. You mentioned that you were able to talk to some of the people within the Trnopolje detention centre. Did you discuss with them issues of living conditions and/or the supply of food?
A. I spoke to them about everything. They told me that the living conditions there were not ideal. But most importantly, no one was touching them, no one was physically or mentally mistreating them. They had what could have been called sufficient amounts of food, they told me, and they had a place to sleep.
Q. Did they, sir, tell you that they were not being physically and mentally mistreated, or was that an observation that you made?
A. I asked them, and during the hour that I spent there, I did not observe any of the individuals there having suffered -- any signs of physical mistreatment on any of the people I saw there.
Q. Did you ultimately depart from the Trnopolje detention centre that day and proceed to go back home?
A. It was early in the evening that we left Trnopolje on our bus. The driver, my colleague, and myself, we went home. 9510BLANK PAGE 9511
Q. Was this the first and only time that you went to the Trnopolje detention centre?
A. No, it wasn't.
Q. When, if you recall, following July 22nd, 1992, did you have an opportunity to go back to the Trnopolje detention centre?
A. Yes. I remember clearly. But for personal reasons, I would like to talk about this in private session, if that's possible, and with Your Honours' permission.
Q. Would it be possible -- and I'll ask the Court for that -- do you know approximately the date, or would you like to have that also in private session, that you were next at the Trnopolje detention centre?
JUDGE SCHOMBURG: Let's go into private session.
(12 lines redacted) 9512
(22 pages redacted) 9534
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
the 10th day of December, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.