JUDGE ORIE: I asked the parties to briefly confer with me
because we have one functionality not functioning, that’s the e-court
transcript system is not available to the parties. However, we do have a
transcript being made; we can see that on the other screen. There is a
possibility to have access to exhibits. And under those circumstances,
rather than to wait for another 10, 15, 20 minutes until the system would
be fully functional again, with the consent of the parties the Chamber
decided to proceed.
Who is it who will examine the next witness? Ms. Friedman, will
it be you?
MS. FRIEDMAN: Yes, I will, Your Honour.
JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
And from your schedule I take it that it is Saidin Salkic that
the Prosecution’s calling.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
[The witness entered court]
JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Salkic. Do you hear me in a
language you understand?
THE WITNESS: I actually understand you speaking English.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you would prefer to give your testimony in
English, I don’t know whether that is what you want to choose.
THE WITNESS: I think it would be more appropriate in this way.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well I leave the choice entirely to you. If
you feel at any moment uncomfortable with using the English language,
although I see that it would not cause any serious problems, then please
The Rules of Procedure and Evidence require that you make a
solemn declaration, the text of which is now handed out to you by the
usher. And I would now like to invite you to make that solemn
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
WITNESS: SAIDIN SALKIC
JUDGE ORIE: I can imagine that you expected to have the English
text. And of course I do —
THE WITNESS: No, no, that’s all right.
JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated. Please be seated, Mr. Salkic.
But the words are the same in the two languages. Do you — are you tuned
in on the English channel or on the B/C/S channel and is that the channel
you would prefer?
THE WITNESS: I’m still getting the —
JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
THE WITNESS: — translation.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we — could the witness be put on
That’s the English channel, Mr. Salkic. Comfortable now?
THE WITNESS: Well, if you can call it that way.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I understand that it’s not really comfortable
being in that position and about to start your testimony —
THE WITNESS: I’m okay.
JUDGE ORIE: — we understand that.
Ms. Friedman, are you ready to examine the witness?
MS. FRIEDMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Salkic, you’ll first be examined by
Ms. Friedman. Ms. Friedman is counsel for the Prosecution.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
Examination by Ms. Friedman:
Q. Good afternoon, Witness. Can you please state your full name for
A. My name is Saidin Salkic.
Q. Mr. Salkic, do you recall giving a statement to an investigator
from the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY on the 22nd and
28th of July, 2005?
A. I do not recall the date exactly, but, yes, I do remember. It
was 2005, yes.
Q. Did you have an opportunity prior to testifying today to review
this statement in a language you understand?
Q. Is there anything you wish to change in that statement?
Q. If you were asked the same questions today, would you give the
same answers in substance as what is contained in that statement?
A. I think so. There would be maybe more pain or something as the
time has gone by. But factually, I wouldn’t change anything.
Q. Now that you have taken the solemn declaration, do you affirm the
accuracy and truthfulness of your statement?
MS. FRIEDMAN: Your Honours, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 6120,
the statement of Saidin Salkic dated 22nd and 28th July, 2005, bearing
ERN 0423-8898, 0423-8909, into evidence as a public exhibit.
JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
THE REGISTRAR: This would be Exhibit P2488, Your Honours.
JUDGE ORIE: P2488 is admitted into evidence.
Please proceed, Ms. Friedman.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Thank you. Your Honours, the Prosecution also
tenders a 92 ter associated exhibit, 65 ter 1228.5, which contains two
video stills taken from the Skorpion’s video admitted as P2161. The
witness indicates in his statement that he was shown 21 video stills
bearing ERN 0363-9681, 0363-9721, and that he recognised his father
Sidik Salkic in six of them.
Four of these stills were already admitted through 92 bis
witnesses. So in order to avoid duplication, we are seeking the
admission of the remaining two only. The four that have been admitted
are photos 9, 10, and 16 in P1796, and photo 19 in P1870. The remaining
two stills are — that we now tender are photo 15, ERN 0363-9709, and
that’s at time code 14757 of the Skorpions video, and photo 21,
ERN 0363-9721, which is at time code 15414 of the Skorpions video.
JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the two stills can receive one number?
They can be united in one exhibit, I take it.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number to be assigned to the
two remaining photographs, numbers 15 and 21, would be …
THE REGISTRAR: P2489, Your Honours.
JUDGE ORIE: P2489 is admitted into evidence.
Mr. Salkic, we have to go through these more or less
administrative matters. We have to do that very carefully.
Ms. Friedman, please proceed.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Thank you. Now, pursuant to the Trial Chamber’s
instructions of the 18th of February, 2010, at this time I will present a
public summary of the evidence contained in Mr. Salkic’s statement.
JUDGE ORIE: And I take it that you’ve explained to Mr. Salkic
that that’s not his evidence but this is just to inform the public about
what your evidence is.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Saidin Salkic is from Srebrenica town. As a
child, he lived there with his father, mother, and sister. In the
beginning of July 1995, his family was still living at home under
difficult circumstances and hardly had anything to eat. On the
11th of July, as word spread that Muslims from Srebrenica were being
taken away, many found refuge in the Salkic family’s home. Everyone was
worried and panicked and spoke about how they had to leave because the
Serbs were taking over Srebrenica.
The men went in the direction of Jaglici, while the women,
children, and elderly went to Potocari. That is the last day Saidin
Salkic saw his father. His father gave him a pocket watch before setting
out with the witness’s uncle and other men. The witness went with his
mother, sister, and grandmother to Potocari, where they spent a couple of
days eating honey to survive.
While in Potocari, Serb soldiers separated out young boys from
the group, and the witness could hear young girls screaming. On the
13th of July, many buses arrived to take the refugees away. There were
barricades up, with UN soldiers and Serb soldiers standing next to and
behind the barricades. Saidin Salkic and his family boarded one of the
buses and were taken in an unknown direction. At a certain point, the
buses were stopped and boarded by Serb soldiers wearing green uniforms
who told them to get out and ordered them to walk to Kladanj. Only years
later, in June 2005, the witness saw video footage of Srebrenica on the
news and recognised his father.
Q. Mr. Salkic, have I summarised your statement accurately?
A. If that’s possible, yeah. Yes.
Q. I will now ask you some additional questions.
First, how old were you at the time of these incidents?
A. Thirteen I guess.
THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak up, please.
THE WITNESS: Yes, yes, 13. I was born in 1981, so you do the
Q. In your statement at paragraph 5, you state that your father left
home with your uncle, Beriz Salkic.
Q. Do you know what happened to your uncle?
Q. Have you seen him alive since that time?
A. No. Only in my dreams.
Q. Were other male family members with you and your family in
Q. Who was with you?
A. It was my grandmother, my cousins.
Q. Did all of your family members leave Potocari?
A. No. My uncle never came. He was in Potocari. And some of my
childhood friends, I never saw again.
THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly speak into the
microphone. Thank you.
THE WITNESS: I’m having a — I’m a little confused about to whom
I’m speaking to. And that’s why —
JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
THE WITNESS: — I speak away from the microphone. But, yes, I
JUDGE ORIE: If you would please come as close to the
microphone – and could the microphones be adjusted – because your words
have to be translated for those who do not understand English. And the
only way of hearing your voice is through the microphones, so therefore
the interpreters are asking for speaking up.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. In your statement at paragraph 7, you stated that while you were
in Potocari your grandmother wanted to disguise you as a girl so that you
wouldn’t be taken away but you were too ashamed to do so.
My question for you is whether at any point someone did try to
take you away?
A. Yes, actually. As we were walking towards the buses, I heard the
sound of a voice saying, You, kid on the side, and I just moved on the
side, and then my mother saw that and she walked back and she started
screaming, crying, and doing everything. And then a lot of men gathered
around and had their guns out and pointed at my mother, me, until a voice
said — the man said, He’s too young, he can go, and I proceeded to go to
Q. Now, the Chamber has admitted into evidence in this case P2161,
the Skorpions video, which includes footage of members the Skorpions unit
executing six Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
Mr. Salkic, is this the video footage that you refer to in your
Q. When did you first find out that it existed?
A. Well, I think it says in the statement, I just saw the news
briefing on television and I saw men coming off the truck and I sensed my
father. I couldn’t be sure first, in those few seconds, but I sensed it
was him. And I ran home to tell mom about it. And then a few days
later — we kind of lived in hope that it wasn’t him, but a few days
later it was confirmed. More video was shown. Yeah, it was my father.
Q. You’ve said also in your statement that he was the one wearing
the blue shirt. Did you recognise this shirt?
A. Yeah. Yes, yes, and I — I — every time now I see somebody in a
blue shirt, I think of him. Yeah, I did recognise it.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Now, would the Court Usher please display
65 ter 6159.
Your Honours, this is a demonstrative exhibit, ERN 0679-6454,
which contains information about the victims of the Trnovo killing. It’s
the subject of an agreed fact filed — between the parties, filed on
15 February 2010 and contained in Annex A, part N. This exhibit contains
video stills of each of the victims taken, again, from P2161, along with
brief biographical information, including their dates of birth and the
locations where they were living in 1991 according to the census. I’ve
spoken with the Defence and they do not object to it. So we tender this
JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number of this exhibit
would be …
THE REGISTRAR: This would be P2490, Your Honours.
JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
I took the silence from the Defence as being an agreement with
what just was told to the Court by Ms. Friedman.
MS. FRIEDMAN: I will now ask the witness to show the Chamber the
locations mentioned on this exhibit and other location — on the exhibit
just admitted, and other locations that are important to his evidence.
Would the Court Usher please display 65 ter 61610. This is
page 35 of the Court binder containing maps related to the indictment.
It is a map of the Srebrenica Bajina Basta area that has been marked —
annotated by Mr. Salkic. And this new version bears ERN 0679-6473.
Can we zoom in, please, to the middle third, perhaps, of the map.
Yes. That’s good. Thank you.
Q. Mr. Salkic, prior to your testimony, were you asked to indicate
the approximate location of several villages on the map that you see
before you on the screen?
Q. Near the words “Srebrenica” there is a letter F. What does the
letter F represent?
A. That is the place where I was living with my family. It’s the
first letter of the name Fojhar, which is a place.
Q. And there is an arrow leading away from Fojhar in a north-west
direction, more west. What does this indicate?
A. This indicates the direction where my father went from home.
Q. And the location Potocari is circled. Is that the location where
you went with your mother and sister and others in July 1995?
Q. And the Chamber can see where Azmir Alispahic and Juso Delic are
from, because Srebrenica and Osmace, south-east of Srebrenica, are
clearly marked on the map. But the remaining three victims are from
towns which are not on the map, so I would like to ask you to assist with
A. I could. I could try.
Q. Dino Salihovic is from Likari, Srebrenica. Can you explain where
that is? Or we can also offer you a pen so you could circle the general
A. Well, as I said, I was 13 and I never went to these villages. I
was — so I couldn’t exactly point where it is. But I assume it is very
close to Srebrenica. It’s a — it’s kind of this perimeter.
Q. Okay. And how long would it take to get from Likari to
Srebrenica, approximately, by car or foot, if you know?
A. People walked. I don’t know.
Q. And Safet Fejzic is from Blazijevici, Srebrenica. Do you know
where Blazijevici is?
A. Again, I don’t. But I think it’s somewhere close to river Drina,
I would assume.
Q. Thank you. And finally, Smail Ibrahimovic from her Hrnici,
Bratunac. Have you heard of that location?
A. Yes, I have. And as you said, I think it’s close to Bratunac, or
closer than to Srebrenica.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Thank you. Your Honours, I tender this marked
version of 65 ter 6160 as the next exhibit.
JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
THE REGISTRAR: The number would be P2491, Your Honours.
JUDGE ORIE: P2491 is admitted into evidence.
Q. Mr. Salkic, have you spoken to the families of the other Trnovo
A. I — yes, I have briefly once in Belgrade. But I feel them, and
they — we have this communication beyond words, I guess. Something that
connects us and forever will.
Q. Now, I only have one or two more questions for you.
Can you describe for the Trial Chamber the impact that the murder
of your father has had on you and your family?
A. Well, my life changed. I got to understand it more, I got to
appreciate it more, and realise how grand it is and how precious it is.
The impact it had on my family and me is immeasurable. It’s something
you cannot speak. But you can feel things every day, every night.
Hundreds of dreams with blood and with weirdness and undefinable things.
It had impact on my mother, who stayed lonely since then. Who never met
another man, who spends her days in solitude because that’s how she is.
She loved him. My sister went through her own personal hell. She was
born in 1987. She was younger than me. She was a girl. And I can only
through my hell of it understand hers. And I’m sure it was as mad as it
was for me.
And some things are just how they are, you know. I sometimes
drive on sunny days – I mentioned this before – and drive to buy a packet
of milk and sometimes it seems like nothing has happened. You get the
feeling of beauty of the life, the rhythm, and it’s all beautiful, and
there’s just this ever-present weirdness about these people who have been
wiped out of part of our lives. And they’ll never change, they’ll always
stay like that. And however you try to be happy, and you naturally do
because it’s in the man to try, there’s that thing that will always be
with us. And I thought that over time it would heal, and it does, time
does heal certain things, but then other things are clearer, you know.
What my father went through, I could experience it clearly, so intensely
and so often. And that’s always there.
Every time I drink water I think of him, because the last thing
he said, he said, Give us some water and then kill us. And every time I
drink water I think of him. As I said, every time I see somebody in a
blue shirt I think of him. And I always will. I’m getting used to
living with that. I have no choice. It’s — in a way, it makes me
stronger. It makes me want to drink water with more passion. It makes
me want to do things with more passion. It makes me appreciate the truth
and how grand it is. I mean, everything is enhanced. Nothing is the
Q. And do you know whether these murders have had similar impacts on
the other families?
A. I can only imagine. I see them, you know, I see these women,
these powerless, beautiful women who’ve made — had their children, you
know, and some had five disappear. I can only bow to them. I don’t
know. I think even them seeing me is a pain to them. I am aware of
everything and it’s not easy.
Are we getting closer to the — do you have more questions?
Q. No, I —
A. Because I have something to say too. From — well, I’m a poet
and I thought it was very important for me to say that for many of these
people it is too late for justice that you can give them. I thought — I
was a kid, I couldn’t have done anything, but I thought there was a will,
there was a way to stop it, and there would have been justice, to stop
the slaughter and genocide. And I think it’s in the conscience of those
who could have done that and didn’t. And that will always stay on their
conscience. I have my fight to fight and I do that the best way I can,
try to love everybody.
Wherever I went I found love. Every person in the world I’ve
met, I found love in them. And for me this can be nothing but eternal
crying, and it is. I don’t know what else to do about it and what to
think of it, how to understand it further. And I don’t think there’s
justice for that. It will always be like that.
MS. FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Mr. Salkic, for giving your evidence.
I have no further questions, Your Honours.
JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Friedman.
Is the situation, as far as the Defence, the same as announced
MR. JORDASH: Yes, we have no witnesses [sic]. But if I might
express my client’s sympathy for your loss.
MR. BAKRAC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Simatovic Defence
case has no questions either. The least we can do and say in front of
this witness, to express on behalf of ourselves and our clients our
deepest regret for what has happened. And we deeply believe that the
real culprit will be brought to justice and punished accordingly.
JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Salkic, usually if you are called by the
Prosecution to testify, you will be cross-examined by the Defence if
there’s any reason to challenge your — the testimony you’ve given.
THE WITNESS: Yes.
JUDGE ORIE: The Defence teams have informed the Chamber and have
repeated it a second ago that they have no questions for you, therefore
are not challenging your testimony.
[Trial Chamber confers]
JUDGE ORIE: Since the Chamber also has no questions for you,
this concludes your evidence in this court. The Chamber fully
understands that the experiences you’ve told us about and as we found
them in your statement are of a kind that it will have been not easy for
you, it will have been very painful, to again give us your testimony and
to tell us what you experienced. I would like to thank you very much for
engaging in this painful experience for you. I’d like to thank you very
much for coming to The Hague, for having answered the questions that were
put to you. And I wish you a safe journey back.
THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
JUDGE ORIE: Then you are invited to follow the usher, who will
escort you out of the courtroom.
THE WITNESS: Thank you.
[The witness stands down]