Case No IT-95-14/1
1 Wednesday, 7th January 1998
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We
4 are going to resume our hearing, and before beginning,
5 I should like to remind the Prosecution that we have a
6 request on the part of the Defence for the provisional
7 release of the accused. Mr. Prosecutor wanted to respond
8 in writing; perhaps he needs a certain period of time to
9 do that. Would you consider eight days as a sufficient
10 time for your reply?
11 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, that would be suitable, thank you, your
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we will continue with the
14 testimony of Mr. Charles McLeod, Defence counsel has the
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours. Allow us, before
17 going on to the actual proceedings, to draw attention to
18 the fact that the Defence continues to believe that the
19 accused's rights have been infringed upon with respect
20 to contacts with his Defence counsel.
21 As an example, I could refer to what happened
22 today. We yesterday heard the testimony of Mr. McLeod.
23 Today, the Defence counsel was to prepare its
24 cross-examination. In order to prepare for that
25 cross-examination, the accused was able to communicate
1 with Defence counsel for only 30 minutes before the
2 beginning of the hearing this morning. Both the accused
3 and Defence counsel consider this to be too short a
4 time. The Defence wishes to underline this within the
5 context of the submission made yesterday and also the
6 thesis that the accused has been placed in an unequal
7 position. I should like to appeal to the Trial Chamber
8 to make a determination as soon as possible in this
9 connection in order to rectify this situation. Is it
10 necessary for me to answer any questions in this
11 regard? (Pause).
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Defence needs -- how much time does
13 the Defence need to prepare the cross-examination?
14 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence would be satisfied if today and
15 every following day, before the beginning of the
16 hearings, as it is not possible to communicate with the
17 detainee after the hearings, to have at least two hours
18 at its disposal for consultations and the preparation of
19 the cross-examination. That is before the beginning of
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Trial Chamber is going to adjourn for
22 half an hour and the Defence will have that period of
23 time to consult with their client and after that, we
24 will make a determination regarding the question as a
25 whole. Are you agreeable?
1 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence is grateful.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, do you have anything to say
3 in this connection?
4 MR. NIEMANN: Only your Honours that we sympathise with the
5 position of the Defence and we support any proposal
6 whereby counsel should be given access to his client so
7 that he can prepare for cross-examination. The position
8 of the Prosecution is that the Defence cannot properly
9 do its case if they are precluded from seeing their
10 client, so the Prosecution's position on this is that if
11 two hours a day can be made available, it should be made
12 available before court.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are going to adjourn for half an hour.
14 (10.15 am)
15 (A short break)
16 (10.55 am)
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Trial Chamber wishes to make the
18 following statement. There are rules and regulations
19 concerning the detention of the accused which apply
20 equally to the Defence. Those measures were adopted by
21 the Tribunal with the greatest care. In case of any
22 difficulties, it is up to the Defence to contact the
23 commander of the detention unit, or the Registrar, in
24 order to seek a solution. It is only in the improbable
25 event that a solution cannot be found that the Trial
1 Chamber may be seized of the matter.
2 In this case, the Trial Chamber has received from
3 the Registrar the following information. Measures have
4 been taken to enable the accused to be at the Tribunal
5 as of 9.00 am, in order to allow counsel the possibility
6 to communicate with the accused. After the hearing, at
7 the end of the day, counsel will be able to communicate
8 with the accused at the detention centre if that is
9 necessary. This measure, however, applies only when the
10 Trial Chamber is sitting.
11 In view of this, the Trial Chamber believes that
12 counsel should always be ready to cross-examine a
13 witness as soon as the Prosecutor has completed the
14 direct examination of that witness. Under these
15 circumstances, the rights of the accused to a fair and
16 expeditious trial will always be guaranteed. That is
18 Therefore can we begin with the cross-examination
19 of the witness by counsel now?
20 CHARLES McLEOD (continued)
21 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
22 Q. Good morning Mr. McLeod, I am attorney Goran Mikulicic,
23 representing the accused, Zlatko Aleksovski. Allow me
24 to ask you a number of questions in connection with your
25 testimony. Mr. McLeod, you have a degree in the German
1 language, is that so?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Apart from German and your mother tongue English, do you
4 have a degree in any other world language?
5 A. No, I do not.
6 Q. Regardless of your formal education, are you familiar
7 with any other language?
8 A. I speak some French and over two years working in the
9 former Yugoslavia, I have some comprehension of
10 Serbo-Croat, but not a particularly detailed
12 Q. Can we take it that you are not so fluent as to be able
13 to communicate with the local population in the
14 territory of the former Yugoslavia in the language of
15 the local community?
16 A. Beyond being able to say "hello", "good morning", "thank
17 you", "could I have something", then no, I cannot
18 communicate with them directly, no.
19 Q. I understand. Does that mean that whenever you were
20 performing your duties, you used an interpreter?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You told us yesterday that at the time of the critical
23 events, and we are talking about the first half of 1993,
24 you had the duties of an European monitor?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You said that in that capacity you visited Central
2 Bosnia, among others?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You said that between 7th and 11th May, you had
5 conversations with local political, military, religious
6 and humanitarian leaders or responsible officials; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you recall with how many people you had any
10 communication between 7th and 11th May; that is during
11 that four-day period?
12 A. Yes, and to be precise if I refer to my notes I can
13 count them up for you.
14 Q. Yes, please do.
15 A. (Pause). Thirteen people.
16 Q. Could you please explain what was the actual procedure,
17 the approach to these conversations? When I say that,
18 I mean in what way did you verify the conversations you
19 had, or rather did you record them, did you tape-record
21 A. No, I did not tape-record the conversations, I sat and
22 I wrote notes in my notebook in pencil at the time as
23 the conversations were going on.
24 Q. If I understood you well, and please correct me if I am
25 wrong, does that mean that the purpose of your tour in
1 the area of Central Bosnia was exclusively to have these
2 conversations with certain individuals?
3 A. I was there to have conversations in order to get an
4 understanding of what had happened, and the
5 conversations were with local people and members of the
6 international community so that I could build up as full
7 a picture as possible.
8 Q. I see. Tell me, in the report that you submitted, in
9 addition to these conversations and the notes that you
10 made about them, did you submit your own description of
11 the situation as you saw it? What I mean is a
12 description of the situation on the ground.
13 A. Yes, in very brief terms at the front of the report and
14 during some of the individual reports such as the one
15 that I read out yesterday, I added a few of my own
16 comments and marked them clearly that they were my own
17 comments, as opposed to the notes I had written at the
19 Q. Please correct me if I am wrong, but does that mean that
20 your main aim was, as an officer of the European
21 Monitors, to have conversations on the ground?
22 A. My aim was to build up an understanding of what had
23 happened and in my view the best way to do that was to
24 talk to the people who had actually experienced the
1 Q. I see, thank you. You said that you made notes as the
2 conversations were ongoing and that later on you used
3 those notes in compiling your reports. Have you
4 understood my question, or do I need to repeat it?
5 A. Could you repeat, please?
6 Q. Is it correct that as you said you made notes during the
7 conversations themselves and that later on you used
8 those notes to compile your report?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. Did you draft your report immediately after those
11 conversations or did some time go by?
12 A. I started typing up my report towards the end of my stay
13 in Zenica, and I completed it within two days of
14 returning to Zagreb, so the time from the first
15 conversation to finally completing the report would have
16 been one week, since the first conversation was on the
17 7th and the report was submitted on the 15th.
18 Q. If we refer specifically to your report and its
19 reference to your conversation with the accused, can we
20 interpret what you have just said as meaning that you
21 drew up the report five days after you completed the
23 A. The report was finished within five days of having the
24 conversation. I cannot remember exactly on which day
25 I actually typed up that part of the report.
1 Q. Can you remember with how many people -- how many people
2 you talked to on that particular day, 10th May?
3 A. If I may refer back to this just to check?
4 Q. Yes, please do.
5 A. (Pause). I had four conversations on that day.
6 Q. During your conversations, you used the services of an
7 interpreter; that is what you told us?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you use the same interpreter for all those
10 conversations, or did you use the services of different
12 A. I would have used the same interpreter for three of the
13 meetings and a different interpreter for the
14 fourth meeting, which was the meeting at the prison. As
15 I explained yesterday, we used Jean-Pierre Thebault's
16 interpreter for that meeting, because she was more
18 Q. Do you remember the name of the interpreter of
19 Jean-Pierre Thebault?
20 A. I am sorry, I do not know and I did not write it down.
21 Q. Shall we now go on to some other questions of a more
22 general nature? Could you please tell us, on the basis
23 of the conversations that you had, what was your
24 impression regarding the situation in the area in terms
25 of the elementary living conditions, food, water,
1 transportation, medical aid?
2 A. At that time, conditions were fairly basic, they were
3 not the conditions which I imagine would normally have
4 prevailed in that part of the world. I think it is fair
5 to say that in Central Bosnia, communications and the
6 supply of food and medicines and so on had been quite
7 difficult for quite some time, and at the time that
8 I was there in May, there were a number of blockades
9 which made it difficult to get food and supplies on to
10 both sides of the internal contact line, so that most
11 people were short of most basic fundamentals.
12 Q. Tell me, what was the possibility for communication
13 within the territory regarding roads, public
14 transportation, private transportation?
15 A. I think that there was probably no public transport as
16 such. There was some private transport perhaps if one
17 had petrol. There was certainly private transport for
18 those people who were trying to move supplies. Most
19 transport was military transport and the ability to
20 cross from one area controlled by one party into an area
21 controlled by another party was severely limited, if not
23 Q. You said yesterday, if I am not mistaken, that you
24 personally moved in an armoured Mercedes car.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you undertake any other measures of personal
3 A. We wore flak jackets when we were travelling, yes.
4 Q. During those travels, did you personally find yourself
5 in any situation of danger?
6 A. Not while I was actually in Central Bosnia, no.
7 Q. Yes, we are talking now only about Central Bosnia. I am
8 sure that during your travels you had contact with the
9 local population, at least informal contacts, is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you tell us how the local people were clothed, or
13 to be more precise, did you notice that the local people
14 were wearing parts of military uniforms like jackets or
16 A. I think it would be fair to say that quite a lot of
17 people were wearing military uniform and carrying
18 weapons, and I would assume that they were all part of
19 the various military organisations which existed there
20 at the time. But I also saw quite a lot of people who
21 were wearing just civilian clothes and other people who
22 clearly were serving soldiers or policemen in uniform.
23 Q. I see. Let us go on now to your visit to the Kaonik
24 prison itself. Could you tell us how long your visit
25 lasted? How much time did you spend in the Kaonik
2 A. I think we were probably there for between one and two
4 Q. When you say "we", who do you mean?
5 A. Myself, Jean-Pierre Thebault and our interpreter.
6 Q. Tell us, please, who conducted the conversation with the
7 accused during your visit to Kaonik, plainly?
8 A. As I said yesterday, most of the conversation was led by
9 Jean-Pierre. Certainly for the first part of the
10 meeting where we were sitting in his office, I was being
11 quiet. When we walked around the prison cells, because
12 I had some experience from my previous military service
13 of visiting prisoners, I was engaging in conversation
14 with the prisoners and with Mr. Aleksovski and thereafter
15 when we were debating the definition of a civilian or a
16 soldier, again because of my previous experience I was
17 taking a more engaged role in that conversation.
18 Q. Reading your report about that visit to the Kaonik
19 facility, we notice that you make no mention of
20 Mr. Thebault at all. Could you explain that please?
21 A. I think that if you were to see the front page of my
22 report as opposed to simply the annex which was read
23 yesterday, you will see that in that I say that I was
24 accompanied on all of my trips by either Eric
25 Friis-Pedersen or Jean-Pierre Thebault.
1 Q. Yes, we noticed that on the front page, but I am talking
2 about the actual content of annex O, dated 15th May. In
3 that annex, you make no mention of the presence of
4 Mr. Thebault. Was that a customary form for your
6 A. If at this stage it would have been useful then clearly
7 it was my oversight at the time not to have put it in,
8 but at the time I thought it sufficient to say that
9 I had been accompanied on all of my meetings and then
10 simply to add as annexes to the main report the notes
11 that I had taken at those meetings.
12 Q. Thank you, it is clearer now. Mr. McLeod, could you show
13 us on the map of the Lasva River valley, which was
14 included in the evidence by the Prosecution yesterday,
15 it is a map called Zenica 4, could you point out the
16 localities where the contact lines were between the
17 enemy forces in relation to the Kaonik facility.
18 I would like to ask the usher to show the map to
19 the witness.
20 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, might I ask if the map could be
21 put on the overhead projector and if the witness could
22 deal with it there and then we can all see what is
23 happening. If the witness could be asked to work on the
24 machine, it would assist, I think, your Honour.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, it is a good suggestion, thank you
1 very much, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 A. I am not sure if it is very clear.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: When pointing to individual localities, will
4 you please name them so that we can follow more easily.
5 A. Certainly. I am not sure if this is very clear on the
6 screen. I cannot see it on the screen in front of me at
7 the moment. My understanding of where the camp was,
8 although I do not think it is actually marked precisely
9 on this map, is that it was in this area here
10 (indicates) on the forward slope of this hill above the
11 river. You can see the river here, with the road on the
12 other side of the river and what was known as the
13 Busovaca T junction here, and to get to the camp, we
14 drove from Zenica along a road to the T junction, over
15 the bridge and then back up the side of the hill through
16 the woods to this area, so although the camp itself,
17 I do not think it is marked, possibly it is indicated by
18 that building, I am not sure, but it was certainly in
19 this area, on the forward slope, overlooking the river,
20 and it was probably to the east, in other words to the
21 right of this road coming down (indicates).
22 Regarding the precise location of the contact
23 line, I think that this was a fairly fluid position but
24 certainly if I indicate a number of villages where -- in
25 very simple terms, the contact line was along the high
1 ground around Busovaca, with the Croatian forces in the
2 valley and the Muslim forces on the high ground with
3 Zenica to the north of that. Then specific villages
4 which either I visited or I was told had had fighting in
5 them, moving from west to east one has Ahmici where
6 obviously some fighting had taken place; Loncari, which
7 I visited which was at that point the -- occupied by
8 Croatian forces and clearly fighting had taken place;
9 Jelinak, which I did not visit but which I understand,
10 as was mentioned yesterday, had been part of the contact
12 On the road from Zenica, I think that the
13 checkpoints were on either side of this bend
14 (indicates). I cannot remember precisely where they
15 were, but that would suggest that the contact line had
16 been somewhere in this area. I did not know in detail
17 where the contact line was to the east of Busovaca, but
18 I imagine it was again along the high ground above the
20 Q. Would you please, when you say "this area" and point at
21 the map, for the record you read out loud the names of
22 the villages.
23 A. I can be specific about to the north of Busovaca, to the
24 north of Kaonik, villages of Loncari, which is here, and
25 Jelinak and crossing the road from Zenica to Vitez and
1 Busovaca, the nearest village would be Dvor, Katici and
2 then to the east of Busovaca, I am not sure how far up
3 into the hills, but we are talking about the area
4 probably close to Bobovisce and Merdani, that being the
5 high ground to the east of the town of Busovaca.
6 I think there was a second contact line to the south of
7 the road from Zenica to Vitez, but I do not know
8 precisely where that was.
9 Q. According to the information you had, how far was the
10 contact line from the Kaonik facility?
11 A. From Loncari, for example, I think it was less than two
12 kilometres in a direct line.
13 Q. That is from Loncari. And from other points on the
14 contact line?
15 A. Because I do not know how close the contact line was to
16 the south of the road from Vitez to Busovaca and Zenica,
17 I do not know whether the contact line was any closer
18 than Loncari going south, and because I do not know
19 precisely where the contact line was to the east of
20 Busovaca, again I am not sure whether it would have been
21 any closer than Loncari. That was probably one of the
22 closest points that I am aware of. I am not sure
23 whether the contact line got any closer than that.
24 Q. I see and thank you. I think we do not need the map any
25 more. Let us go back to the Kaonik facility itself.
1 You said that you spent about one and a half to two
2 hours in it.
3 A. Yes, it was a fairly long time, but I am not sure
4 precisely, so between one and two hours. Possibly
5 slightly longer, but certainly between one and two
7 Q. Can you remember within this time frame, how long did you
8 spend talking to the accused, and on the other hand how
9 much time did you spend visiting the facility?
10 A. I imagine that we spent at least an hour talking and
11 then between 15 minutes and half an hour walking around
12 the prison block and then a further up to about half an
13 hour, once we had been on the prison block, discussing
14 the pros and cons of releasing civilians and the steps
15 we might have to take in order to facilitate that.
16 Excuse me, could this be moved, please? Thank
18 Q. So we do not have to peek around it. Could you tell us,
19 what did the Kaonik facility consist of? How many
20 structures were there, the ones that you visited, and
21 did you visit all of them or just some of them?
22 A. I only saw one building, which was the first building
23 which we came to as we drove up to the facility. At
24 that time, I understood that there were more buildings
25 and that if we had continued on down the road which we
1 had arrived on, that they were further down the road in
2 the woods, but at that time I did not know how many more
3 buildings or what other facilities there were at the
5 Q. Were you not interested in this information?
6 A. Yes, and we were offered the possibility of going
7 further down the road to see the further facilities. At
8 that time we took the decision that we would rather
9 proceed back to Zenica as fast as possible in order to
10 try and facilitate the release of civilians, rather than
11 going on to see the rest of the facility. It was a very
12 hard decision to take, but at the time that was our
13 judgement and so that is what we did. But it is worth
14 making the point that we were not prevented at all from
15 going further down the road.
16 Q. When you talk about being allowed to and not being
17 prevented to go to places, can you specify what persons
18 you have in mind?
19 A. Mr. Aleksovski was quite open about the fact that there
20 was a further facility. He did not specify exactly how
21 many buildings or who was there or how many people were
22 this, but it was clear that there was more to the
23 facility than just the building we had seen and that if
24 we had asked to see more of the facility, that would
25 have been possible. But because the course of the
1 conversation had turned, in our view in quite a positive
2 manner towards the possibility of release of a number of
3 people, we felt that it was important to try and
4 facilitate that as fast as possible.
5 Q. During your visit to this prison, did you have an
6 opportunity to talk to the prisoners?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you talk to the prisoners alone or was somebody from
9 the prison personnel present?
10 A. Yes -- sorry, that is the wrong answer to give. While
11 we were speaking to the prisoners, at all times there
12 were members of the prison guard force in the cells with
14 Q. Was this situation convenient for you?
15 A. No, if we had wanted to have a direct and private
16 conversation with one of the prisoners, then this was
17 not the best way of doing it by any stretch of the
18 imagination. But our aim was not to have an opportunity
19 to interrogate prisoners in private, our aim was to get
20 an overview of the situation, knowing that the ICRC were
21 also visiting the facility and that they would insist on
22 having the opportunity to speak to prisoners privately.
23 Q. Does this mean that you did not request to talk to the
24 prisoners in private?
25 A. No, we did not request.
1 Q. Can you describe to us in what conditions you discovered
2 the prisoners with whom you spoke and thereby I mean
3 their general physical condition?
4 A. All the people that we saw were men, they were aged
5 I imagine between their 20s and their 40s or 50s. Some
6 of them were certainly quite old. They were all wearing
7 basically civilian clothes of various sorts, as far as
8 I remember. I clearly remember as I said yesterday that
9 there were also a couple of Croatian military prisoners
10 who were wearing uniform. I can remember the
11 distinction between them and the other people we saw.
12 Most of the people that we met appeared to be clean,
13 they seemed to be reasonably healthy.
14 Some of them certainly said that they had physical
15 or medical problems which needed attention. As you saw
16 yesterday on the list of names which we were given, you
17 can see my notes to that effect, where a couple of
18 people had said that they had things that were wrong
19 with them.
20 Q. We will come that list a little bit later. Let us focus
21 now to the prisoners with whom you had contact. Among
22 the prisoners with whom you spoke, did you notice any
23 traces of physical injuries on any of them?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you notice in your contact with the prisoners that
1 they were undernourished or starved?
2 A. If I use as a comparison the well known picture of the
3 man at Omarska which I imagine everybody saw on the
4 front page of Time magazine, no, none of them appeared
5 to be in that condition, if that is how one would
6 classify somebody who is seriously malnourished or
8 Q. I asked this question in connection with your comparison
9 of yesterday, with the prisoners in Manjaca.
10 A. Interestingly, one of the people we met in the prison
11 had also been in Manjaca. It was an unfortunate lot to
12 be captured first by the Serbs and then by the Croats.
13 We had a joke about the fact that I had probably seen
14 him before. The people I saw in Manjaca were looking
15 thin, but by the time that we got to see them they were
16 being fed by UNHCR. The people that I saw at Kaonik
17 were in I suppose a similar condition, not looking
18 particularly healthy because it is not a particularly
19 healthy environment in which to find oneself, but not
21 Q. You said that you toured only one building.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you have assumed that you would have visited other
24 buildings had the conditions in the first building made
25 you want to continue with your tour?
1 A. I think that the decision to go further was taken on the
2 basis that we thought that there was the possibility of
3 facilitating a release of prisoners. I think that if
4 conditions in the first building that we had seen had
5 been worse, then our desire to try and facilitate a
6 release would have been even stronger and so probably we
7 would have felt that we had seen enough and been even
8 more motivated to try and get on and facilitate a
9 release, so the answer is probably no.
10 Q. I see, thank you. Can you please tell us, did you have
11 a conversation about the food in the prison?
12 A. Before we saw the prisoners, Mr. Aleksovski had explained
13 that as we would understand, there were shortages of
14 food and therefore the supplies which they had generally
15 were not very good and therefore that which they could
16 provide for the prisoners was again not what he would
17 otherwise consider to be satisfactory, that was the
18 understanding that I took from what he was explaining to
19 us. I think that while we were talking to the
20 prisoners, detainees, whatever we would call them, again
21 as I said yesterday, they had made the point in each of
22 the cells into which we went of stating that they felt
23 they were being treated well and fairly. Nobody
24 actually told us that they were not being fed, but under
25 the circumstances, I think it would have been difficult
1 for somebody to have said that they were being
3 Q. In these conversations with the prisoners, did you get
4 any signal from any of them that they would have liked
5 to talk about this with you alone?
6 A. I think again in light of my experience in the other
7 camps, where I was able to use my ability to speak
8 German to have a few private conversations with
9 prisoners, I imagine that the people that I met at
10 Kaonik, had they had the opportunity, would have liked
11 to have had a private conversation, but that was not
12 possible and again, as I said earlier, our aim was not
13 to try and do more than have an overview of what was
14 going on, because we felt that there were other people
15 who would be looking into the issue in more detail, but
16 I am quite sure that had the opportunity been there,
17 then people would have liked to have told us precisely
18 what was going on.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I am sorry, can we take a break of 20
20 minutes? We will adjourn. The interpreters also need a
22 (11.45 am)
23 (A short break)
24 (12.10 pm)
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you can continue.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honour.
2 Just before we broke, Mr. McLeod, we were at the
3 place where you said that you were in a position where
4 you had an opportunity to have the detainees talk to you
5 alone, is that correct?
6 A. I said that in other camps where I had been,
7 specifically in Manjaca and Trnopolje, I had had
8 opportunities to speak to prisoners without the
9 conversations being overheard. This was more difficult
10 in Manjaca but certainly in Trnopolje, I was able to
11 have a clear conversation. I did not have that
12 opportunity at Kaonik.
13 Q. Why was it that you did not have such an opportunity at
15 A. Because what we were doing at Kaonik was touring the
16 facility, accompanied by Mr. Aleksovski and his other
17 guards and we were going from one cell to the next,
18 walking into the cell, saying hello to everybody, then
19 saying their piece and then going on to the next cell,
20 so there was no opportunity to have any form of
21 conversation without having everybody listening. On
22 occasions when I visited the other two camps, there were
23 opportunities because we were allowed to just walk
24 freely about the camps to have conversations with
25 people, but the whole style of the visits were
1 completely different.
2 Q. I understand what you just said, but let me ask you
3 direct questions. Did you request to talk to the
4 prisoners alone?
5 A. No, as I said before, we did not feel the need --
6 Q. Thank you, yes. Thank you, it is now much clearer.
7 During your visit to the prison, did you notice or hear
8 that prisoners had received different treatment and this
9 is in reference to your statement that you said you
10 noticed that the citizens of Croatian ethnic group were
11 also detained there in addition to the Muslim ethnic
13 A. Yes, the clear difference was the number of people in
14 each cell. The Muslims that I saw were -- I cannot
15 remember exact numbers but more than four and probably
16 less than ten to a cell, whereas there were only two
17 Croatian military prisoners both sharing a cell. I am
18 not sure exactly how many people the cells were designed
19 for, but they certainly did not appear to have been
20 designed for the number of people we saw in most of
21 them. I imagine they were designed for one or two
23 Q. When I ask this question, that is not the sense that
24 I had in mind. What I wanted to ask is whether you
25 noticed whether the prisoners of different ethnic groups
1 were, for instance, receiving different kind of food?
2 A. Because we did not observe any meals being either given
3 or prepared, I do not know. The two young Croatian
4 soldiers that I saw looked fit and healthy and
5 cheerful. They had a large number of possessions with
6 them in the room so the room was actually full of what
7 appeared to be their personal possessions. The other
8 people that we saw, as I said earlier, did not look as
9 if they were not being fed at all. They certainly did
10 not appear to have any personal possessions or
11 significant personal possessions with them, so one could
12 see a difference there, if that is what you are looking
14 Q. When you noticed this, did you have in mind that from
15 the persons that were there in the prison, how long had
16 each of them been there?
17 A. In terms of whether the Muslim prisoners had been there
18 for longer than the Croatian prisoners, or how long just
19 individuals had been there? Could you clarify that
21 Q. Gladly. What I had in mind was the fact -- did you have
22 access to information or did you receive information on,
23 that is when you compared the Muslim and Croat
24 prisoners, how long was one group detained in Kaonik
25 prison in comparison to the other group?
1 A. I understand. No, I have no idea how long the Croatian
2 prisoners had been there, I cannot remember if we were
3 told, but I certainly do not remember being told.
4 I know that some of the Muslim prisoners said that they
5 had been arrested on 16th April and so presumably they
6 had been at Kaonik for a period less than that, but I do
7 not know how long all of the prisoners had been there
8 and so no, I cannot make any comparison on that basis.
9 Q. During the visit to Kaonik on that occasion, did you
10 notice the prison guards there?
11 A. Yes, I saw the people who were accompanying us as we
12 went around. I cannot recall in any detail the guards
13 that we met at the checkpoints leading into the prison,
14 but certainly yes, there were also a couple of
15 checkpoints that we went through.
16 Q. What I had in mind was the guards within the buildings
17 themselves which you toured?
18 A. Yes, there were a number of people who were accompanying
19 us as we went around. I understood they were the guards
20 because of the functions they were carrying out.
21 Q. Can you specify the number of people there?
22 A. I think there were probably two or three different
23 people who were with us. I cannot remember exactly how
24 many, but it was more than one and probably less than
25 five; in addition to Mr. Aleksovski, that is.
1 Q. How did you infer that these were guards?
2 A. Because they were the people who were opening and
3 closing the doors and they were wearing uniform, and the
4 relationship that they had both to Mr. Aleksovski and to
5 the prisoners was such that it was pretty clear they
6 were guards as opposed to prisoners.
7 Q. Did you notice that these people were carrying weapons?
8 A. No, again as I said yesterday, I cannot specifically
9 remember whether either they were carrying weapons or
10 were not carrying weapons, and so I think it is safe to
11 say that no, I cannot remember.
12 Q. Can you remember the age of these individuals? In
13 general, were these younger or older people?
14 A. These were -- adult men, not young adult men, I cannot
15 remember them being particularly old. In their 30s or
16 40s, say, but I do not remember them in particular
18 Q. You said you noticed that they were wearing uniforms.
19 Did you see any insignia on these uniforms, rank or any
20 kind of emblems?
21 A. Certainly not that I can remember, no. I imagine that
22 they were wearing rank and emblems and so on, but
23 I certainly cannot remember precisely what they were
24 wearing and would not want to hazard a guess at this
1 Q. Can you remember how Mr. Aleksovski was dressed?
2 A. I think he was wearing a camouflage suit, trousers and
4 Q. Can you remember whether he had any rank or other
5 insignia on his uniform?
6 A. Not with enough clarity to be able to say exactly what
7 it was, no.
8 Q. Was the Kaonik facility the only facility of this kind
9 which you visited during your tour in Central Bosnia?
10 A. Yes, if you are saying did I visit any other prisons,
11 then the answer is no, I did not visit any other
13 Q. Can you explain why you did not visit any other
14 prisons? Was it because they did not exist, or was
15 there another reason for it?
16 A. The reason why I did not visit any of the other prisons
17 was the lack of time. I had expected to visit the
18 prison in Zenica because I was told that there were two
19 specific prisoners being held in one of those facilities
20 who had information about what had happened at Ahmici
21 and I was very interested to speak to those two people,
22 but by the time that the possibility was there, it
23 emerged that they had been released in a prisoner
24 exchange and so my specific desire to go and visit them
25 was no longer there and I was more interested at that
1 point in attempting to facilitate the release of
2 Croatian prisoners which I successfully did, or it seems
3 I was successful in doing.
4 Q. I understand. Yesterday, you said and the Prosecutor
5 tendered it as evidence, a list of prisoners.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I would like to request that the usher show to the
8 witness this document. This exhibit is marked P7, for
9 the record.
10 Mr. McLeod, can you identify this list as the list
11 we discussed yesterday?
12 A. Yes, I can.
13 Q. You explained yesterday the circumstances under which
14 you obtained that list. Could you please repeat who was
15 it that gave it to you?
16 A. Certainly. The list was given to us by Mr. Aleksovski.
17 Q. There is some handwriting right of the list of names and
18 you identified that handwriting as being yours.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you please clarify your notes. For what purpose
21 were they made?
22 A. Certainly. As I said yesterday, Mr. Aleksovski gave us
23 this list before we toured the prison block. I was
24 holding the list as we walked around the cells, and
25 again, as I said yesterday, after a while it occurred to
1 me that I should be marking on the list those prisoners
2 that I had actually seen and identified because
3 I realised that people would be interested later on who
4 had actually been in the prison, and so as you can see,
5 and I will indicate an example, I put a tick next to a
6 name where I had actually seen somebody and I wrote a
7 comment of the person; in this case it said that he had
8 been suffering from heart attacks.
9 Q. I see. If we look at the second page of this list,
10 please be kind enough to turn over the page, we notice
11 that at the end of the list, to the right, the position
12 has been indicated, "manager of the district military
13 prison" and under that the name "Zlatko Aleksovski",
14 that is the name of the accused.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I am not quite sure whether my copy is legible, but it
17 seems to me that this list is not signed.
18 A. No, the list is not signed, but it was given to me
19 personally by Mr. Aleksovski.
20 Q. Could you explain to us whether this document that you
21 received, according to your understanding, is an
22 official document?
23 A. I believe that it was the best attempt on the part of
24 the staff of Mr. Aleksovski to produce a list of the
25 Muslim prisoners according to the records which they
1 held on their computer at the prison at that time, and
2 again, as I said yesterday, a lady was quite agitated in
3 her attempts to persuade the computer to print the list
4 and we spent quite a long time waiting for the list to
5 be produced before we went up to look at the prison
6 block, so under those circumstances, I think it is about
7 as official a list as it was possible to get at that
9 Q. I see. Could you explain to us, if you received that
10 list as an official document, why was it not signed by
11 the person who issued it?
12 A. I think because we had been waiting for the list, the
13 list was produced and handed across and then we went.
14 I certainly did not feel that there was any necessity to
15 get anybody to sign it. I was quite content with the
16 way in which it had been produced and the significance
17 of the document.
18 Q. In your understanding, should an official document be
20 A. Not necessarily in this day and age. Computer-generated
21 documents are not always signed.
22 Q. But documents that are produced by computers could be
23 signed subsequently, is that not true?
24 A. Absolutely. As I said at the beginning, my
25 understanding of the Croatian language is not good
1 enough to have been able to translate, as you kindly
2 did, or as was done for us just now, as I indicate, that
3 title there (indicates), the words above Mr. Aleksovski's
4 name, and at the time I was not aware that that was his
5 signature block in any case. I was quite content this
6 was a document which had been produced in good faith and
7 which I accepted as such.
8 Q. I see. During your tour in this region of Central
9 Bosnia, you said that you had conversations with various
10 people and you indicated their position, locality and
11 the position they held in the community. Could you tell
12 us who gave you the data about what the individual you
13 were talking to, what the position of the individual you
14 were talking to was?
15 A. That information was provided by a range of people,
16 mostly the individual that I was talking to introduced
17 themselves and told me what their function was. I was
18 then able to cross-reference this by asking the ECMM
19 monitors who were based in Zenica and who knew the
20 individuals on a personal basis and who were working
21 with them on a regular basis what their understanding of
22 the individual's function was and in some cases other
23 people that I spoke to also identified individuals by
24 name and by function.
25 Q. Regarding the verification that you have mentioned, did
1 you carry out that verification for each individual
2 conversation that you had?
3 A. Yes, in each case I said -- I think I can be fairly
4 certain that in each case, the people that I was talking
5 to were introduced and certainly in each case I then
6 cross-referenced it by saying to the people who knew
7 them individually, "exactly who was that person and what
8 is your understanding of their function?".
9 Q. I see. I should like to draw your attention, you have
10 your notes before you, to the notes marked annex F.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In this particular case, did you also carry out this
13 verification as you have described it?
14 A. Yes and so the -- yes.
15 Q. Let me read the title of the document, "Meeting with
16 Ivan Santic, town mayor of Vitez and Pero Skopljak,
17 commander of the police in Vitez".
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. According to the notes, this conversation took place on
20 8th May 1993, is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you aware that Mr. Pero Skopljak, as of 20th June
23 1992, that is almost a year prior to your conversation
24 with him, no longer held that position; that is he did
25 not perform the function of police commander in Vitez.
1 Are you aware of that fact?
2 A. Absolutely not. However, the gentleman that I spoke to
3 was introduced to me as being somebody of that name,
4 with a function which appeared to be that of chief of
5 police. When I cross-referenced what I understood to
6 have taken place with somebody else, Eric
7 Friis-Pedersen, the other ECMM monitor who accompanied
8 me for that conversation, he said the person I had
9 spoken to was somebody of that name whose function was,
10 if not the commander, then a senior member of the police
11 in Vitez. If that was incorrect, that is very
13 Q. I am afraid it was not correct. Do you know that
14 Mr. Pero Skopljak was indicted by this Tribunal?
15 A. No, I was not aware of that.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I will object to any questions
17 which are sought to be based on something that has not
18 been produced in evidence, so in terms of questions
19 about the position that this witness held, we have no
20 evidence before the Chamber on this. There may be -- it
21 may be that what is being said is correct, but there is
22 no evidence before the Chamber that is the case and
23 I would object to the evidence being introduced by way
24 of counsel saying that that is the position. (Pause).
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, I do not know whether we
1 have the document that you are referring to.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, I am referring to a notorious
3 fact, which according to the Rules of the Tribunal need
4 not be proven, and that is that the charges against Pero
5 Skopljak have been withdrawn by this Tribunal; that is
6 the charges against Mr. Pero Skopljak in his capacity, in
7 his function that he is alleged to have held here.
8 Therefore the Defence considers this fact to be common
9 knowledge. But I will not insist on any further
10 questions in that connection.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You can continue, thank you very much.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours, but the Defence has
13 completed its cross-examination.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I only have one further question
15 I would like to ask in re-examination, if I may.
16 Re-examined by MR. NIEMANN
17 Q. Mr. McLeod, you were shown Exhibit 7 which was the list
18 given to you by Mr. Aleksovski which you attested to, the
19 list of names.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you have that list there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I think your evidence, and I just wish to clarify this,
24 your evidence is that not all the people that you met
25 you ticked against the list, is that correct?
1 A. That is correct, yes.
2 Q. So for example if you met the person in number 72,
3 Kaknjo Fuad, the fact that a tick does not appear there
4 may not be conclusive of the fact of whether or not you
5 met him?
6 A. Absolutely not. As I said, it did not occur to me until
7 some time after we had started seeing people that
8 I ought to be making a note.
9 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. I have nothing further.
10 JUDGE VOHRAH: Mr. McLeod, am I right in assuming that Kaonik
11 detention centre was in fact a prison centre -- a prison
12 as such?
13 A. It certainly appeared to be, yes.
14 Q. Did you visit all the cells in this particular prison?
15 A. No, I looked at some of the cells in one of the blocks.
16 Q. Some of the cells?
17 A. We did not go into every single cell in the one block
18 which we went into and I believe there were more blocks,
19 but I did not see any of the other blocks.
20 Q. Could you tell us how many cells there were in this
21 particular prison?
22 A. I would imagine that in the block that I went into,
23 there would have been eight or ten, but I cannot
24 remember exactly.
25 Q. One last question, could you tell us what the condition
1 of each of the cells was where the Muslim inmates were
2 put in?
3 A. Each cell was a room about half of which -- the rear
4 half of which had a raised platform, I imagine to be
5 used as a bed, so the people that we saw were either
6 sitting on this raised platform or some of them standing
7 to the front of it. With all of us in the cell, it was
8 quite tightly packed.
9 Q. I now come to the document which you handed in, P7.
10 Could you explain the words in handwriting against
11 number 40?
12 A. The word is "operations".
13 Q. What does that indicate? What does that mean?
14 A. Either the man had had some operations or he needed some
15 operations, but I cannot remember precisely whether it
16 was the case that he had had them or that he needed
18 Q. And then the words against number 74 and 76?
19 A. The man had explained to me that he had been a member of
20 the -- I beg your pardon.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Would you please connect the machine,
22 switch on the machine? Thank you.
23 A. So the words that I am indicating here say "forensic in
24 Vitez police" and then "16/04", so the man explained to
25 me he had been a member of the forensic staff of the
1 police in Vitez and that he had been arrested on
2 16th April.
3 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. McLeod, I have no questions, therefore
5 I wish to thank you for coming. Thank you.
6 (The witness withdrew)
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think that it is not possible to have
8 another witness before lunch, and therefore perhaps we
9 can have the lunch break now.
10 MR. NIEMANN: As your Honours please.
11 (12.45 pm)
12 (Adjourned until 2.30 pm)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, you have the floor.
3 MR. NIEMANN: As your Honours please. Your Honours, before
4 I call the next witness, there is just one matter that
5 I would like to raise if I may. It relates to orders in
6 relation to protective measures for witnesses, in
7 circumstances where witnesses may need to proceed to
8 give their evidence under a pseudonym rather than giving
9 their names or giving evidence in camera, so that it is
10 not transmitted into the public domain.
11 Your Honours, it looks as though this week there
12 may not be any applications made in that regard,
13 although these things do change, and so one can never be
14 sure whether a witness just before he enters the witness
15 box says, "no, I do want some protective measures". We
16 have had discussions with the Defence, Mr. Mikulicic
17 about that, and there is a practice that has been
18 followed in the Chamber presided over -- in the Blaskic
19 case -- by Judge Jorda, where the Defence and the
20 Prosecution have basically reached agreement that they
21 will discuss issues of protection of witnesses from time
22 to time as they come up, and then the application is
23 made orally for those orders immediately prior to the
24 witness being called, and, subject to there being no
25 dispute from the Defence, the matter proceeds that way,
1 without the necessity of having to file formal
2 documents, which documents then have to be responded to
3 and then argued. It is a much more efficient and
4 quicker way of disposing of the matter, and so, if it is
5 convenient to the court, it is a way which we may be
6 able to proceed with, subject to your Honours' approval
7 of that course, in this case.
8 Obviously if the situation arises where there is
9 dispute between the Defence and Prosecution, we will
10 proceed in the traditional way of filing motions and so
11 forth, and I should indicate that obviously this is not
12 just a practice for the Prosecution, it would be for
13 both sides, so likewise if the Defence when they call a
14 witness, if they want protective measures it will
15 proceed in the same way and we will reach agreement
16 beforehand. I thought perhaps I might raise that at
17 this stage for your Honours' consideration.
18 I call the witness Fuad Kaknjo.
19 (Witness entered court)
20 MR. NIEMANN: Mr. Kaknjo, could you please read out the
21 declaration there?
22 FUAD KAKNJO (sworn)
23 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
24 Q. Thank you very much. Could you be seated now? Would
25 you state your full name, please?
1 A. Fuad Kaknjo.
2 Q. What is your date of birth?
3 A. 8th April 1954.
4 Q. Where were you born?
5 A. In Zenica.
6 Q. What is your ethnicity?
7 A. Bosniak.
8 Q. What is your religion?
9 A. Islamic.
10 Q. Where did you attend your schooling?
11 A. I completed my elementary and secondary school in
12 Zenica, and civil engineering in Sarajevo.
13 Q. Did you study civil engineering at university?
14 A. Electrical engineering at the university.
15 Q. When did you graduate from university?
16 A. Early 1977.
17 Q. Did you do military service with the JNA?
18 A. Yes, I was in the Yugoslav People's Army.
19 Q. When was that?
20 A. This was in 1978/79.
21 Q. Where did you work immediately after you left
23 A. I worked in the steel works in Zenica.
24 Q. How long did you work there for?
25 A. Less than four years.
1 Q. After that, where did you go?
2 A. I then went to Vitez, to the Slobodan Princip Selo
4 Q. What do they make in that factory?
5 A. It is military industry, it is ammunition and things
6 like that.
7 Q. After you moved to Vitez, did you begin to take an
8 interest in politics?
9 A. Here and there, yes.
10 Q. Did you subsequently become a member of the parliament
11 in Vitez?
12 A. Yes, I was a member of the parliament or assembly.
13 Q. Did you become that member because of your involvement
14 on the executive board of the Workers' Council?
15 A. No, it was not really connected, those two things.
16 Q. What was the executive board of the Workers' Council?
17 Perhaps we could distinguish them.
18 A. Yes, this was a system, it was the workers'
19 self-management, but specifically this would be the
20 executive board of a, say, factory these days.
21 Q. When did you become a member of the Vitez parliament?
22 A. I think this was in 1984, I think it was then.
23 Q. Did you subsequently join the SDA?
24 A. Yes, that was in 1990.
25 Q. Perhaps you might tell their Honours what the SDA is.
1 A. This was a party, it is the Party of Democratic Action,
2 that is its full name.
3 Q. What position did you assume after the elections of
5 A. I became the president of the Executive Council at the
6 municipality level in Vitez.
7 Q. What role did you perform as president?
8 A. It is the executive power, I was the president of the
9 government, so it was the Executive Council, it was
10 myself and another four members, that is another four
11 members of the local government.
12 Q. That is the local government of Vitez?
13 A. Yes, these are the executive bodies of the government of
14 Vitez; that is of the municipal assembly.
15 Q. Did people of different ethnic groups take up other
16 positions in local administration?
17 A. Yes, they did.
18 Q. For example, who was the overall president of the
20 A. It was a Croatian person, Ivica Santic.
21 Q. His deputy, who was that?
22 A. He was an ethnic Serb.
23 Q. As a Muslim, you were president of the executive board,
24 is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who determined what ethnic group occupied what position?
2 A. This was based on the results of the elections, that is
3 based on the agreement of the parties that represented
5 Q. So did the parties have an agreement of sorts which
6 determined what particular positions went to what party?
7 A. They did.
8 Q. Who were the political parties that took part in the
9 1990 elections?
10 A. There were several parties.
11 Q. Could you tell us the parties that you can remember, and
12 those parties that represented a particular ethnic
13 group, can you tell us what ethnic group they
14 represented, please?
15 A. The HDZ or the Croatian Democratic Community represented
16 Croats; the Party of Democratic Action or SDA
17 represented Bosniaks; SDS, Serbian Democratic Party,
18 represented the Serbs; SDP, the Party of Democratic
19 Changes were all citizens of all groups; then the
20 Reformists, the Liberals, the Socialist Party.
21 Q. Do you know what ethnic group was in majority in Vitez?
22 A. Yes, the Croatian ethnic group.
23 Q. What about in Zenica? What ethnic group was in majority
25 A. Bosniak nationality.
1 Q. And Busovaca?
2 A. I think it was the Croatian National Group.
3 Q. In September 1991, was a joint Crisis Council
4 established in Vitez?
5 A. Yes, a joint Crisis Council was established then.
6 Q. What position, if any, did you hold on this council?
7 A. I was the deputy to the president of the Council.
8 Q. What was the name of the president of the Council?
9 A. Ivica Santic.
10 Q. How many people were on the Crisis Council?
11 A. I think there were ten.
12 Q. What was the purpose of the Crisis Council?
13 A. In view of the events in Croatia and on the initiative
14 of the HDZ, we established this Council.
15 Q. In April 1992, were attempts made to take over the
16 government in Vitez?
17 A. Yes, there were attempts.
18 Q. Who attempted to do this and how was it attempted?
19 A. At the joint meeting of the crisis headquarters, Anto
20 Valenta attempted to do this.
21 Q. Who did he represent?
22 A. I think that it was the Croatian Community of
24 Q. Did this succeed?
25 A. No, because several Croats rejected that because it was
1 not on the agenda at the meeting.
2 Q. As a result of this crisis in April 1992, were any
3 decisions made about the distribution of weapons in the
4 Vitez area?
5 A. If you think about the depot in Sljemena, we tried to
6 agree about the divisions so it would be done in a
7 peaceful manner.
8 Q. Where was the depot in Sljemena?
9 A. This is near Travnik.
10 Q. Who were the weapons to be distributed between?
11 A. In fact this was the distribution of weapons among the
12 three municipalities.
13 Q. How among the three -- which groups within the three
14 municipalities were to receive weapons that were
16 A. Bosniaks and Croats.
17 Q. When did the first conflict between the Croats and the
18 Muslims take place in the Vitez area -- sorry, in that
19 general area?
20 A. I do not know, perhaps it was in Busovaca.
21 Q. Did anything happen as early as June 1992?
22 A. Yes, this was on 20th June, I believe. It was the
23 turnover of the Vitez municipality building and the
24 police station in Vitez.
25 Q. What steps did you take -- I am sorry. Was there then a
1 later attempt to -- a later conflict that developed in
2 October between Croats and Muslims?
3 A. There were minor conflicts, relatively speaking.
4 Q. In particular, was there a tension or a conflict that
5 took place in Novi Travnik?
6 A. Yes, there were conflicts in Novi Travnik.
7 Q. Were you involved in any attempt to resolve this
8 conflict that had arisen in Novi Travnik?
9 A. Yes, there was an attempt to calm down the situation, so
10 that the conflict would stay localised so that it would
11 not spread.
12 Q. What did you suggest yourself? What did you do yourself
13 in this regard?
14 A. I suggested -- I proposed that the president of the
15 municipality and myself go over there as citizens of
16 Vitez and try to calm down the situation.
17 Q. This is that you and Ivica Santic go over, is that
19 A. In fact we did not go, that was just an attempt.
20 Q. That was your suggestion?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What did he say to you when you suggested that proposal?
23 A. That he talked and that it did not happen, so that
24 I could just try to talk to them myself.
25 Q. Did he suggest that you should telephone somebody?
1 A. Yes, he told me that and he gave me the phone number.
2 Q. Who did he suggest you should speak to?
3 A. With Kordic.
4 Q. Is that Dario Kordic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What position did Dario Kordic hold at that time?
7 A. I think it was the president of the HDZ.
8 Q. Did you subsequently speak to Dario Kordic?
9 A. Yes, I did talk to him.
10 Q. What did you say to him?
11 A. I wanted that Ivica Santic and I mediate so that we
12 could calm things down.
13 Q. What did he say to you?
14 A. If the commander of the Territorial Defence
15 surrendered -- the army commander in Novi Travnik, and
16 if he surrendered the arms, then we could talk.
17 Q. What army was this that he was referring to?
18 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that was its name, the
19 Territorial Defence at that time.
20 Q. What was your response to this?
21 A. I said that I was not authorised, we just wanted to come
22 as neighbours, as citizens.
23 Q. In November 1992, were you presented with a paper to
24 sign relating to the HVO?
25 A. Yes, the secretary at the municipality of the -- the
1 Vitez municipality brought this document to me.
2 Q. What did the document relate to?
3 A. It was some kind of document by the deputy -- the
4 vice-president of the municipality of Vitez.
5 Q. What was the effect of the document, so far as you were
7 A. I returned it.
8 Q. Yes, but what was the effect of the document, why did
9 you return it?
10 A. I was already the president of the executive board of
11 the municipality who was elected by the regular
12 elections at the municipality level.
13 Q. On 16th April 1993, was there an attack by the HVO in
14 Vitez, near the building where you lived?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How did you know that it was the HVO that attacked the
18 A. I saw through the window soldiers wearing camouflage
20 Q. Did you recognise their uniforms?
21 A. You will probably ask about the insignia. I saw them
22 from the window. It would have been either the army or
23 the HVO, and it was the HVO.
24 Q. When you use the word "army", are you referring to the
25 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you then manage to hide for a few days, four days?
3 A. Yes, I left my apartment that morning and moved to
4 another apartment at another entrance.
5 Q. Where did you go, in the same building, was it?
6 A. It was the same building, but another entrance, the two
7 entrances were one next to another.
8 Q. On 20th April 1993, what did you then do?
9 A. I left the building and when they were taking away
10 Bosniaks, I joined them and entered the van and went to
11 the cultural centre, the building where there was a
13 Q. When you say "they", who was it that were taking the
14 Bosniaks to the cinema, or the cultural centre, sorry?
15 A. The HVO.
16 Q. Did you attempt to slip undetected into the group that
17 were being taken?
18 A. Yes, not only did I try to slip in undetected, but
19 I actually succeeded.
20 Q. Did you fear during this period of time, leading up to
21 the time when you joined this group going to the
22 cultural centre, that you might be arrested because of
23 your position?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Why did you fear that?
1 A. Simply because of the atmosphere, the situation, because
2 of what was happening in the territory of Vitez.
3 Q. When you went with this group of people, did you
4 ultimately go to the cultural centre?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. What time did you get there, what time of the day was
8 A. I think it was about 2.00 pm.
9 Q. When you arrived at the cinema, where did they take you?
10 A. We were in the basement of the cinema hall.
11 Q. When you went into the basement, what did you see when
12 you went down into the basement?
13 A. There were two premises there, probably a boiler room
14 and a place for storing coal.
15 Q. Were there any people down there?
16 A. Yes, there were.
17 Q. Do you know what ethnic group they were?
18 A. They were of Bosniak ethnic group.
19 Q. When you say "Bosniak ethnic group", are you referring
20 mainly to people of the Islamic faith?
21 A. Yes, mostly I am.
22 Q. About how many people were there? A rough average,
23 I know you probably did not count them.
24 A. 300 to 400, according to my estimate, which may not be
1 Q. Could you determine the age range of the people that
2 were there approximately, by just looking at their
3 physical appearance?
4 A. They were young men and older people, from maybe 17 or
5 18 to 60.
6 Q. Were they men, women and children or just men?
7 A. Men.
8 Q. Did they subsequently find out that you were there?
9 When I say "they", I mean the authorities; did they
10 subsequently find out that you, as president of the
11 executive board, was there?
12 A. I think that this happened later when we were due to
13 have a meeting.
14 Q. Tell us how it came about, will you?
15 A. You mean the meeting?
16 Q. Yes, and how it was discovered that you were in this
18 A. Dr. Mujezinovic came, looking for people to negotiate
19 with the HVO, that is what he told you.
20 Q. Who was Dr. Mujezinovic?
21 A. At the time he was President of the War Presidency.
22 Q. What did you say to him when he came? Did he come to
24 A. I said that I would negotiate, but that UNPROFOR and the
25 Red Cross had to be present.
1 Q. What did he then do?
2 A. He left with some other people upstairs, to the upper
4 Q. What happened then?
5 A. He came back half an hour later and asked me to go as
7 Q. Did you go this time?
8 A. Actually he did not come, someone else came from that
9 service who were in that building and later I went and
10 there was another man who went with me upstairs, to this
11 room upstairs on the top floor.
12 Q. When you went upstairs, who did you meet then?
13 A. Apart from the people who went upstairs from the
14 basement, there were two other people, two other Croats.
15 Q. It was these two other Croats that you were negotiating
16 with, was it?
17 A. Yes, actually they were not real negotiations. They
18 asked us to call the commander of the III Corps to
19 insist that they stop operations, and that sort of
21 Q. Did you know the name of the two Croat people that asked
22 you to do this?
23 A. Josip Zvonko Cilic and Boro Jozic.
24 Q. Do you know what positions they held at the time?
25 A. I think that Cilic was in the information and propaganda
1 activities and Boro Jozic was engaged in exchange of
2 prisoners and that sort of thing.
3 Q. For what organisation was that?
4 A. They worked for the HVO.
5 Q. When you met them, did you ask to speak to some people?
6 A. I said that if we were to have talks, we should have
7 them with competent people.
8 Q. Did you name the competent people that you wanted to
9 speak to?
10 A. Yes, they were Ivica Santic and Pero Skopljak.
11 Q. I think you have told us the position of Ivica Santic.
12 What position, so far as you knew, did Skopljak hold and
13 why did you want to speak to him?
14 A. At the time, he was President of the HDZ.
15 Q. Why did you want to speak to him?
16 A. They were the people who were competent and who could
17 probably come to some sort of an agreement.
18 Q. I just need to clarify: who was it that was President of
19 the HDZ?
20 A. Pero Skopljak.
21 Q. I think you mentioned a moment ago that you were asked
22 to speak to the commander of the army of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the region, is that right?
24 A. Yes, that is what he wanted.
25 Q. Who was the commander of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 for that region?
2 A. Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
3 Q. What Corps was he the commander of?
4 A. It was the III Corps.
5 Q. Where was the III Corps headquartered? Where was its
7 A. In Zenica.
8 Q. Was this where Hadzihasanovic was located as well?
9 A. That was where he was based, yes.
10 Q. Did you know any other officers in the III Corps?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who else did you know?
13 A. Ramiz Dugalic, who was deputy commander.
14 Q. For how long had you known Ramiz Dugalic?
15 A. He comes from Vitez, but I know him maybe since April
17 Q. Did you subsequently speak to Dugalic?
18 A. Yes, I did speak to Dugalic.
19 Q. What did you say to him?
20 A. I told him where we were, that Zvonko Cilic and Boro
21 Jozic were with us, that they were treating us quite
22 decently, that it would be a good idea to put an end to
23 this, that there were a lot of us captured, and that
24 sort of thing.
25 Q. What did he say?
1 A. He said that he would see, that he would try to do
3 Q. Was there then a proposal that either side should sign
4 off to an agreement to reflect what had been discussed?
5 A. Yes, this was supposed to be like some kind of an
7 Q. What was the purpose of the announcement?
8 A. I think that in the first place to put an end to
9 hostilities, to calm people down and so on.
10 Q. Who was it intended would be the parties to this
11 document, this announcement?
12 A. On the one side those present and on the other, that is
13 representatives of the Bosniak group and the Croatian
15 Q. What is the -- can you tell us what the HZ-HB is?
16 A. It is the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
17 Q. Do you know what the HVO is?
18 A. The Croatian Defence Council.
19 Q. This document that was proposed between you, did you
20 sign the document?
21 A. Well we had a talk, there were various proposals but in
22 the end, we signed it.
23 Q. Did you initially refuse to sign it?
24 A. Yes, there was a part that we could not agree with.
25 Q. What was that part?
1 A. The subordination of the BiH army in Vitez to the HVO.
2 Q. Why could you not agree to that?
3 A. I was not competent to decide about that anyway.
4 Q. But notwithstanding that, was there any other reason why
5 you could not agree to it?
6 A. The atmosphere was not really conducive to any kind of
8 Q. I think you said that you subsequently did sign it. Was
9 this after there had been changes made to the document?
10 A. Actually, these were all proposals, there was no
11 definite written document that we had to sign, these
12 were proposals which we had to formulate. Then we
13 signed this document; there were three or four articles
14 or paragraphs to that document.
15 Q. Can you tell us some of the other proposals that were
16 suggested? If you can remember.
17 A. That the international rules of the Red Cross had to be
18 respected; that hostilities should cease; that we would
19 respect the agreement between Izetbegovic and Boban and
20 that sort of thing.
21 Q. During the time that you were detained in the cinema,
22 were you ever taken out to dig trenches?
23 A. Yes, I was once.
24 Q. Where were you taken?
25 A. It was to Rijeka, close to Vranjska. Those are the
1 names of these localities.
2 Q. They are just on the outskirts of Vitez, are they, close
3 to Vitez?
4 A. Actually this belongs to the municipality of Vitez and
5 it is close to the town itself.
6 Q. Do you know who it was that took you out to dig these
8 A. You mean by name?
9 Q. No, do you know where these people came from?
10 A. They were HVO members.
11 Q. Was there any military activity going on around you
12 during the time that you were digging the trenches, that
13 you can recall?
14 A. I did not notice any.
15 Q. Had you heard of anyone being subjected to any danger at
16 that time when you were digging trenches?
17 A. I think there were some people killed.
18 Q. On 26th April, do you recall a meeting being held where
19 members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina arrived at the
21 A. Yes, that was at the end of April. The commander of the
22 BiH army, Sefer Halilovic, then Mr. Hasim Delic was there,
23 Mr. Petkovic and Mario Cerkez, as far as I can recall.
24 They were in the premises of the cinema, they entered
25 the cinema hall.
1 Q. Do you have any knowledge of why they were there, why
2 they had come to this place?
3 A. We were told that we would be released, that an
4 agreement to that effect had been reached.
5 Q. So as far as you were aware, they had come there for the
6 purposes of negotiating for the release of the
7 prisoners, is that correct?
8 A. I think that when they came to the hall, that agreement
9 had already been reached, as far as I know.
10 Q. How did you ascertain, how did you find this out?
11 A. I think that the army commander wished us --
12 congratulated us on our freedom, wished us all the best.
13 Q. I think I said 26th April when I asked you the question,
14 and I think you answered it was the end of April.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you think that the date I suggested may have been
18 A. Towards the end of April that was. Whether it was the
19 29th, the 30th -- a lot of time has gone by and there
20 were many things happening, so it is difficult to tell,
21 but it was towards the end of April.
22 Q. You feel that 26th April is too early, is not the right
24 A. I think it is too early. I think it is.
25 Q. I think the statement that you gave to the Office of the
1 Prosecutor, it has in that statement the date
2 26th April, but do you now think that that may be the
3 wrong date?
4 A. I could have said 29th, maybe an interpreter made an
5 error or something, but I do not know, I think it was
6 the end of April, that is all.
7 Q. Thank you. After you had heard that some of these
8 prisoners were to be released, did you see people that
9 were released, did you hear of people being released?
10 A. That day or the next day, the majority were released.
11 Q. What happened to you?
12 A. I think about 20 people stayed behind in the building.
13 Q. How long did you stay behind for in the cinema building?
14 A. I think for about three days, possibly.
15 Q. Were you then taken somewhere else?
16 A. Yes, to the chess club in Vitez, a building in which the
17 chess club was located, on the ground floor and the
19 Q. What time of the day were you taken there, day or
20 morning, were you taken there?
21 A. It was about 3.00 am.
22 Q. Did you gain the impression that you were being taken
23 there secretly?
24 A. It was dark. Possibly. Possibly one could have that
1 Q. Approximately what date was it, can you remember? You
2 may not remember, but approximately what date would it
3 have been that you were taken to the chess club?
4 A. I think it was the 3rd, in the morning of the 3rd.
5 Q. That is 3rd May, is it?
6 A. Yes, 3rd May.
7 Q. 1993?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who took you to the chess club?
10 A. HVO soldiers.
11 Q. By what means of transport?
12 A. It was a minibus.
13 Q. Who did you go with?
14 A. They were people from the cinema, I think there were
15 about eight people from the cinema and another four from
16 the SDK, the social accounting service. This was
17 another building where people were detained.
18 Q. For how long did you stay in the chess club?
19 A. We spent the night there.
20 Q. Where did you go the next day?
21 A. About 2.00 pm, we were taken to Busovaca.
22 Q. This is the opstina of Busovaca, is it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where in the opstina of Busovaca were you taken?
25 A. To Kaonik, that is the name of that part of Busovaca
2 Q. Was it a particular place in Kaonik?
3 A. Yes, it was a building that we were taken to.
4 Q. Do you know what this building had been used for before
5 the war?
6 A. They were military hangars, I think.
7 Q. When you say military before the war, that would have
8 been the JNA, is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Had you ever been to Kaonik before this time?
11 A. You mean in those buildings?
12 Q. Well, to the JNA barracks there.
13 A. No, I was never in those buildings.
14 Q. When you arrived at Kaonik, where were you placed and
15 with whom?
16 A. We were placed into cells in that building, we were
17 driven to the building and then placed in a cell and
18 there were a total of 13 of us.
19 Q. Did you know the 13 people that were with you?
20 A. Yes, except for one.
21 Q. Can you describe the room that you were put into, in
22 terms of its size and description?
23 A. I think it was a room that was about 4.5 to 5 metres
24 long by 3 metres wide. Along the longer wall, there was
25 a bench to be used as a bed. There were no windows
1 facing outside so there was no daylight, and there was a
2 window facing the corridor.
3 Q. When you were kept in this room, were you able to hear
4 anything happening outside of the room?
5 A. Yes, you could hear the sounds of people wailing.
6 Q. Could you hear them saying anything?
7 A. Yes, you could hear it, it was loud enough.
8 Q. Could you hear what they were saying?
9 A. Yes, "I will tell everything", "don't, don't", things
10 like that.
11 Q. After four days in Kaonik, what happened then?
12 A. I think that the Red Cross arrived.
13 Q. When they arrived, did they come and see you?
14 A. Yes, and we talked to them in the hallway. We even
15 managed to write a message.
16 Q. While you were held in Kaonik, were you ever
18 A. Yes, I was interrogated the following day.
19 Q. That is after you had -- the following day after seeing
20 the Red Cross?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Where were you interrogated?
23 A. This was in the town of Busovaca, at the premises of the
24 insurance company there.
25 Q. Who interrogated you?
1 A. There were, I assume, the investigators there, there
2 were several people who interrogated me.
3 Q. Did you know any of these investigators?
4 A. Yes, I knew one of them, I even had official business
5 with him before. His name was Juresic.
6 Q. Do you know what position he held?
7 A. I could assume that, I did not know.
8 Q. What position did he appear to hold, then?
9 A. I think that they were investigators.
10 Q. Did you know what he did before the war, what position
11 he had before the war?
12 A. Yes, he also worked for the police in Zenica. He was in
13 charge with protection from fire, from things like that
14 and so we met on that basis.
15 Q. What ethnic group was he, did you know?
16 A. He was a Croat.
17 Q. During the time, during this period when you were being
18 interrogated, did anyone else enter the room while you
19 were there?
20 A. Yes, other people came in and went out, that went on.
21 Q. Did you know who those people represented or where they
22 came from?
23 A. I personally did not know these people, but they were
24 all members of the HVO.
25 Q. Did they say or do anything to you while they were
2 A. The ones who interrogated me?
3 Q. No, the HVO that came into the room.
4 A. Well yes, he said a few words.
5 Q. What did he say to you?
6 A. He was giving me a pistol, so that I would kill myself,
7 things like that. Then I said, "there is no need for
8 that". Then he would offer me his pistol again and say,
9 "okay then, you kill me", things like that.
10 Q. Were you then taken back to Kaonik?
11 A. Yes, I was then returned to Kaonik.
12 Q. Were you then later interrogated in Kaonik?
13 A. Well yes, the next day.
14 Q. Who interrogated you in Kaonik the next day?
15 A. In fact they gave me some paper, they posed some
16 questions and the next day Zarko Petrovic interrogated
17 me outside that building. It was very short.
18 Q. Had you spoken to Zarko Petrovic before this? Had you
19 seen him before this?
20 A. Yes, in fact he brought me in the car to the insurance
21 company, then he drove me back from the insurance
22 company, so he was involved in transportation.
23 Q. So you saw him on the first occasion when you went to
24 Busovaca and then you saw him again in Kaonik when he
25 gave you the paper?
1 A. Yes, he was also in the insurance company premises, he
2 was also present there. Not all the time, but he was
3 also present.
4 Q. You say a piece of paper and they posed some questions.
5 What were the questions they posed for you, can you
7 A. With whom I had contacts in Sarajevo, in Zenica. Then
8 there was a question of my family ties with Izetbegovic,
9 or my wife's ties with that family. The Vitez trade
10 company, from whom of the Croats did we buy weapons,
11 things like that.
12 Q. You spoke of Zarko Petrovic being at Kaonik on the next
13 day. Was he the person that interrogated you in Kaonik
14 on that day, or was it somebody else?
15 A. Yes, he did that, but it was very short, in fact he just
16 read what I had written down.
17 Q. What did he say to you when he read the things that you
18 had written down?
19 A. He was not satisfied.
20 Q. What happened then, when he was not satisfied? What
21 happened then?
22 A. You mean after my conversation with him?
23 Q. That is right, yes.
24 A. I stayed in the building, it was another building, it
25 was about 100 metres away from the building where I had
1 originally been brought, and in fact I stayed in a room.
2 Q. What happened?
3 A. I was kept there.
4 Q. Who took you there?
5 A. It was Zarko Petrovic who brought me to this building
6 and he left me in this room and there was a man at the
7 reception desk, at the entrance to that building, and he
8 left the keys with him and he told him not to let
9 anybody in, into this room.
10 Q. Who told them not to let anyone in the room, Petkovic,
11 was it?
12 A. Yes, he told this man who was at this reception on duty,
13 an older man.
14 Q. What happened then?
15 A. Then a soldier came and asked him to unlock the room and
16 he said that he did not have the keys, that he needed to
17 go and ask the investigator, things like that.
18 Q. What happened?
19 A. When the shift changed, that was around 7.00 or 8.00,
20 that same man came again, and a new person on duty told
21 him that he needed to ask the investigator in order to
22 let him in.
23 Q. Do you know the name of the man that came again?
24 A. Yes, he later asked me, when he took me out of that
25 room, whether I knew what his name was, that his
1 nickname was Svabo and how come I did not know that he
2 was that person.
3 Q. He was the person that wanted to come into the room, was
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. He did not do that until there was a change of shift?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. After the change of shift and when he came into the
9 room, what happened then?
10 A. He took me out of that room and took me to another
11 room. I think that this was like a dining hall, there
12 were several tables and chairs there.
13 Q. When you went into this dining hall, what happened?
14 A. I sat in a chair and he said just what I said before, he
15 told me to say everything, everything I knew.
16 Q. What did you say to him?
17 A. I started saying some things, he was not satisfied.
18 I received several blows on my head and legs.
19 Q. Were you sitting in the chair at the time?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. When he hit you in the head, did you stay in the chair?
22 A. I fell from the chair a few times.
23 Q. Apart from hitting you in the head, did he hit you
24 anywhere else?
25 A. Yes, in my legs and I received a hit in the kidney area.
1 Q. With what did he hit you?
2 A. There were no objects involved. Hands and kicks. He
3 kicked me in my shins.
4 Q. Did he have any boots or shoes on his feet when he
5 kicked you?
6 A. I think he had boots.
7 Q. During the course of this interrogation, did he produce
8 any weapons of any sort?
9 A. Yes, he had a knife on his belt.
10 Q. What did he do with the knife, if anything?
11 A. He took it out and then put it back and that was very
13 Q. What happened after the interrogation took place?
14 A. He took me back to this room, that is the cell in this
16 Q. What happened then, after he took you back?
17 A. There was a telephone there at the reception desk and
18 then I heard him say, "director, everything is fine
20 Q. Was he having a telephone conversation when he said
22 A. Yes, that is my assumption.
23 Q. Did he use the word "director" or did he use some other
24 word that you can remember?
25 A. I think that is the word he used.
1 Q. Did you suffer any injuries as a result of the beating?
2 A. Yes, there were bruises around my eyes and in the areas
3 of my kidneys.
4 Q. What happened the next day?
5 A. In the morning, Zarko Petrovic came.
6 Q. Did Zarko Petrovic say anything to you?
7 A. Yes, he said that he was not able to prevent this, that
8 it was out of his control.
9 Q. Did you tell him what had happened?
10 A. I guess he saw. I assumed he knew, so that is my
12 Q. Do you know what position Zarko Petrovic had?
13 A. I think he was an investigator, that is how they
14 addressed him, so I think he was an investigator.
15 Q. Some days later, were you spoken to by officials from an
16 international organisation?
17 A. Yes, they were present.
18 Q. Do you know what the international organisation was?
19 A. The European Monitors, they were dressed in white,
20 I think that they were the European Monitors.
21 Q. Do you know approximately when it was that you were
22 spoken to by the European Monitors?
23 A. Maybe it was a day or two later after I was brought back
24 from the second room, that was now the third cell. That
25 was one or two days after.
1 Q. I take it that you did not have a calendar with you when
2 you were in prison, so it was difficult for you to keep
3 track of the actual dates, is that right?
4 A. I had other problems, so one does not think of that.
5 Q. Did the European Monitors ask you any questions that you
6 can remember?
7 A. I think it was something like, "how were you treated?",
8 and things like that, how did people treat us.
9 Q. When you were asked how you were treated, what did you
11 A. It was better not to say things to the monitors, so we
12 said it was fine.
13 Q. Did you mention the fact that you had just been beaten a
14 few days earlier?
15 A. I think I did not. I think I did not. It was visible,
16 they could have seen it.
17 Q. Did you happen to see who it was, if anyone, that was
18 accompanying the ECMM monitors as they were going
20 A. I think that somebody was in front of -- I think there
21 was somebody there. I do not know who it was, I cannot
22 remember that.
23 Q. Did you see any officials from the camp, for example,
24 going around with the ECMM monitors? That is people
25 other than in the white uniforms?
1 A. There were people who were present there, I do not know
2 what their functions were.
3 Q. Did you know who the camp commander was at the time when
4 you were there?
5 A. I did not know at that time, but I know we signed a
6 release document and we signed it in the presence of the
7 camp commander.
8 Q. Do you know where the camp commander's office was?
9 A. I do not know where the camp commander's office was, but
10 we signed this document in the office that was in that
12 Q. Where was the office that was in that building, relative
13 to your cell?
14 A. Looking from the entrance to the building, it was to the
15 left of the entrance.
16 Q. It was in the same building as your cell was, is that
18 A. Yes, in the same building.
19 Q. Some days after the European Monitors made their visit
20 there, did something then happen?
21 A. Yes, I think it was the 14th and we were transferred to
22 Vitez again to the cultural centre building and on 16th,
23 the exchange took place; that is we were exchanged and
24 then we were actually free.
25 Q. Where did the exchange take place?
1 A. I do not know exactly. I know that we were brought to
2 Poculice. The UNPROFOR representatives were there as
3 well as the ICRC. This is the part of the Vitez
4 municipality controlled by the army, and that is where
5 we were brought and that was the act of release, that
6 was the final act of being set free.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Might the witness be shown Exhibit P7, if
8 your Honours please?
9 Mr. Kaknjo, would you look for me please at the
10 document that has now been placed on that machine
11 there? Make yourself comfortable so you can see it. It
12 is not something, I know, you are familiar with, but
13 would you just carefully look through it and if you see
14 any names of any persons mentioned there that were in
15 prison at the same time you were there, could you just
16 indicate them by reference to the number? Any persons
17 that you knew of that were in prison with you at that
19 A. Number 15, Beso, I do not know if his name was Mustafa
20 or not, but Beso was there yes, maybe it was not Beso --
21 Serif Osadsevic.
22 Q. Which number is that?
23 A. 64, 65, 67, 68, 69 but not that last name. Ramo
24 Karijkic is 69. Number 70, 72, 73 --
25 Q. I think 72 is a reference to you, is it not?
1 A. It says "Fuad" here. 73, 74, 76. There was a Sefma
2 there, I do not know his name, that would be 78.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you very much. No further questions,
4 your Honour.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much for the moment. We
6 are going to have a break and we will resume work at
8 (3.55 pm)
9 (A short break)
10 (4.15 pm)
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, the witness is now at your
13 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
14 Q. Thank you, your Honours.
15 Good afternoon, Mr. Kaknjo. I am attorney Mr. Goran
16 Mikulicic, representing Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski in this
17 case and it is my turn to ask you a few questions.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. I am going back to the part of your testimony when you
20 said that Petrovic took you for interrogation and then
21 brought you back to the Kaonik locality. You said that
22 on that occasion, you were taken back to the building.
23 Could you describe to us which building you are
24 referring to? Did you manage to understand the purpose
25 of that building?
1 A. I was returned to cell number 3, that is how it was
2 marked. Before that, I was in cell 16. I was taken
3 from cell 16 for interrogation and then taken back to
4 cell 3.
5 Q. This person whom you called by his nickname Svabo, did
6 he interrogate you in the same building to which you
7 were taken back?
8 A. No, in another building.
9 Q. Could you describe to us the building in question?
10 A. That was the building of the intervention squad, because
11 I saw people under arms there, who went to carry out
12 operations, they were mentioning certain villages, so
13 that I think this was the building where the
14 intervention squad was accommodated.
15 Q. Could you please show us on an aerial photo of Kaonik
16 the building you are referring to?
17 A. Yes, if the picture is clear, I think I could.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: I would like to ask the usher to show the
19 witness an aerial photograph which has been submitted as
20 an exhibit, so that we can ask the witness to indicate
21 the building where he was interrogated by a person
22 nicknamed Svabo.
23 A. This is the main road towards Busovaca, and this
24 branches off towards Kaonik, so it would be this
25 building (indicates).
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. The photograph is not very clear. I think it was that
4 Q. Could that building be marked, the building pointed to
5 by the witness, as the building where he was
6 interrogated by a person nicknamed Svabo.
7 On this aerial photograph, can you discern the
8 other building to which you were taken later?
9 A. I think it was this building (indicates).
10 Q. Could this second building also be marked as the
11 building identified by the witness.
12 Do you know who was the commander of the
13 intervention squad at the time when you were in that
14 first building?
15 A. No, I am not familiar with the name.
16 Q. Are you familiar -- I apologise.
17 THE REGISTRAR: If I may be allowed, Mr. President, I think
18 it would be desirable for the Prosecutor, who has
19 another copy, to give this copy to the witness so that
20 he can directly mark, put in the marks requested by the
21 Defence, by counsel, and then it will be admitted as an
22 exhibit of the Defence.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Counsel would suggest that the first building
24 be marked A and the second B, or in any other suitable
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: May I thank you for your suggestion,
2 Mr. Mikulicic. Thank you very much.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: You are welcome.
4 A. Should I mark the picture?
5 Q. Yes, please do. So this would be building A, and the
6 other one would be building B.
7 A. (Witness marks map).
8 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. Counsel would tender this aerial
9 photograph thus marked into evidence as a Defence
11 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit D1.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Mr. Kaknjo, you have described the, to put it
13 mildly, unpleasantness you experienced in building A.
14 You said that this building was actually the base of the
15 intervention squad.
16 A. That is my understanding.
17 Q. Can you explain to all of us and the Trial Chamber what
18 an intervention squad is?
19 A. These are people who intervene in certain situations.
20 They engage in operations, they are given tasks to go to
21 particular areas, something to that effect.
22 Q. Who is in command of such an intervention platoon?
23 A. I think it is the HVO.
24 Q. Is it true that an intervention platoon can be described
25 as a military unit?
1 A. Yes, it can.
2 Q. Are you aware what the function was of Zlatko Aleksovski
3 at the time you were there?
4 A. I think he was the commander of the camp in Kaonik.
5 Q. You stated that you heard this person who beat you,
6 Svabo, having a telephone conversation.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know who he was talking to?
9 A. I just heard what he said.
10 Q. Though you said that once, would you be kind enough to
11 repeat the exact words, as far as you can recollect
13 A. "Commander, it is okay, I have finished my job", words
14 to that effect.
15 Q. Was that all that you heard him say on the phone?
16 A. Yes, it was.
17 Q. You said that you had visible injuries on the face from
18 the blows you received?
19 A. Yes, there were bruises.
20 Q. Can you recall how many days after these events, after
21 you were hurt, did the people whom you described as men
22 in white, the European Monitors, come?
23 A. A day or two later, very soon after that, because that
24 period was full of events, it is rather hard to tell.
25 Q. According to your recollection, could that visit have
1 taken place on 10th May 1993?
2 A. Possibly, the 10th, the 11th, possibly.
3 Q. Do you know the person who was leading the European
4 Monitors at the time in the Lasva River valley?
5 A. No, I did not know him.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Mr. Kaknjo, we have no further
8 MR. NIEMANN: No questions in re-examination, your Honour.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Kaknjo, I have two questions for you.
10 In your language, is the commander and director, are
11 they two different things or can they be used to
12 indicate the same thing?
13 A. In everyday terminology in peacetime, one could say
14 "director" or "warden", but in a crisis situation, in
15 wartime conditions, then "commander" or "director" could
16 be used interchangeably.
17 Q. It is true that in those circumstances the most
18 appropriate word would be "commander"?
19 A. Both terms could be used, either term could be used.
20 Q. My second question is as follows: do you know
21 Mr. Aleksovski?
22 A. I met him on that day when we were going back to the
23 cultural centre in Vitez, where we had been detained
25 Q. Did you speak to him?
1 A. There was no real conversation, we just had to sign the
2 release paper. We did not personally communicate, no.
3 Q. Could you tell us whether he is here? Could you point
4 to him?
5 A. Yes, I could.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you for your testimony. Thank you.
7 A. Thank you too.
8 (The witness withdrew)
9 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, my colleague Mr. Marchesiello will
10 take the next witness.
11 (Witness entered court)
12 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Good afternoon. Could you please read
13 your declaration.
14 BAHTIJA SIVRO (sworn)
15 Examined by MR. MARCHESIELLO
16 Q. You can sit down please. Do you hear me? Can you hear
18 A. I do.
19 Q. Could you please state your full name, age and place of
21 A. My name is Bahtija Sivro, I was born on 27th January
22 1951 in Zenica.
23 Q. Where are you presently living, Mr. Sivro?
24 A. (redacted)
25 Q. (redacted)
1 A. (redacetd)
2 Q. (redacted)
3 A. (redacted)
5 Q. Please could you tell us what is your nationality,
6 Mr. Sivro?
7 A. I am a Bosniak, a Muslim.
8 Q. So you describe yourself and your family from the point
9 of view of ethnicity; you describe yourself as a Muslim?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you please briefly outline for the court your
12 educational background, starting from high school on.
13 A. I graduated elementary school in Vitez, secondary school
14 of electrical engineering in Zenica and the electrical
15 engineering faculty in Sarajevo, so I am a graduate
16 electrotechnical engineer of the electronics
18 Q. As a student and until graduation, did you have any
19 political experience, party youth organisation and so
21 A. No, I was not politically involved in any political
23 Q. At a certain moment in the subsequent years, did you
24 take part in such a political organisation? Were you a
25 member or are you still a member of a political
2 A. At present I am a member of the Party of Democratic
4 Q. With which role and tasks, please?
5 A. I am now just a regular member of the organisation, that
6 is the Party of Democratic Action.
7 Q. When did you join the party?
8 A. At the beginning of 1992.
9 Q. Can you briefly explain to the court the nature of this
10 political organisation? What does SDA mean?
11 A. The Party of Democratic Action in its title indicates
12 democracy and it rallies mostly Bosniak Muslims, but
13 there are members of other nationalities and
15 Q. Do you mean that there are Croats who can be members and
16 actually are members of the party, of that party?
17 A. Yes, that is what I mean.
18 Q. Did you have in the recent past or now do you have any
19 administrative and/or governmental role in your country
20 and/or in Vitez municipality?
21 A. For a time, I was head of the Bosniak section of the
22 Vitez municipality after the signing of the Washington
23 Agreement; or to be more precise, from October 1995
24 until the end of 1996, I held the position of head of
25 the Bosniak section of Vitez municipality.
1 Q. Can you please explain to the court what you mean by
2 "Bosniak section" of Vitez?
3 A. Unfortunately Vitez continues to be divided into two
4 parts, the Bosniak part and the Croatian part, so that
5 on both sides there are two heads, the head of the
6 Croatian section and the head of the Bosniak section.
7 Q. Are you still occupying this position, are you still
8 mayor of Vitez, of the Bosnian part of Vitez?
9 A. I no longer perform that function, I am now working in
10 the government of the Central Bosnia canton in the
11 Ministry of Industry and Power. I hold the post of
12 Electrical Power Inspector and at the same time I am a
13 delegate in the House of Representatives of the
14 Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 Q. Will you briefly describe your professional history as a
16 civilian and state your main professional experiences?
17 A. Upon graduation from the university, I worked at the
18 Zenica steel works as a young engineer. Shortly after
19 that, I moved to Vitez and worked at the Vitezit
20 enterprise as an engineer designer and after ten years
21 of employment there, I became manager of engineering and
22 development of the socially-owned enterprise called
24 Q. I understand that Vitezit factory is part of a larger
25 industrial complex in Vitez. Can you be more precise on
1 this point?
2 A. Yes, these are chemical plants. In addition to Vitezit,
3 there were two other companies that were quite
4 separate. They operated independently, a company called
5 Slobodan Princip Selo and another one called Sintevit
6 and all three companies formed an association which used
7 to belong to the business association of UNIS in
9 Q. Actually in a physical sense they are a unit, they are
10 in the same area, the three factories?
11 A. Yes, they are within the same compound and they form an
13 Q. How was on your arrival there and how, if you can say
14 that, how has remained the situation of Muslim personnel
15 within the factory?
16 A. Quite normal while I was working there from 1977 until
17 the 1990s.
18 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Sorry, they ask me to ask the court for a
19 redaction from the transcript, page 87, line 17. Thank
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Excuse me, counsel is not quite aware what
22 kind of redaction is in question, as we do not have the
23 transcript before us. Could we be familiarised with
24 this request?
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Could you please, Mr. Prosecutor, explain
1 this a little?
2 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Actually I cannot, because I have been
3 asked to do it.
4 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we are just seeking a redaction
5 of something which we might write down on a piece of
6 paper. If there is to be any discussion or debate about
7 it, we should go into closed session. I will pass this
8 over to Mr. Mikulicic, but if Mr. Mikulicic has any
9 further discussion on it, I would be asking to go into
10 closed session.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay, I am completely aware.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Are you agreeable, Mr. Mikulicic?
13 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, I am.
14 MR. MARCHESIELLO: I hope it has been only a technical
15 accident and I hope it will not happen again.
16 Can we start again with the last question? How
17 was the situation with the Muslim personnel within the
18 factory? I know you have already answered, but the
19 other matter, the technical matter did not allow me to
20 follow your answer.
21 A. Could you please specify what period you are referring
23 Q. From the very beginning of your experience in the
24 Vitezit to, let us say, mid 1992?
25 A. As I have said already, there were no major problems
1 regarding the position of Muslims working in that
3 Q. Were there more Muslims in the management of the company
4 than Croats?
5 A. More recently, that is in 1991/1992, the top management
6 of all three firms consisted of Croats, in the majority.
7 Q. By the way, when did you first arrive in Vitez as a
8 professional, as an engineer, to work there?
9 A. I think it was the end of 1976 or the beginning of 1977.
10 Q. When did you marry, could you please tell us that?
11 A. I got married in 1978.
12 Q. Where did you last live in Vitez, in which area of Vitez
13 did you live?
14 A. I lived in the downtown area, in a socially-owned
15 apartment. I had an apartment.
16 Q. In which part of divided Vitez is this area now? Is it
17 in the Bosnian or the Croat area?
18 A. My apartment is in the Croat area.
19 Q. After the collapse of former Yugoslavia and of the
20 Communist regime, and until the end of 1991, could you
21 tell us how were in Vitez the relations between the
22 Croat and the Muslim communities? I am referring to
23 your personal experience. Were there problems,
25 A. In 1991, the Muslims and Croats lived together and they
1 did not cause any difficulties for each other.
2 Q. Could you please tell us which was the structure of
3 local government after the elections?
4 A. The structure of local government corresponded to the
5 number of votes gained at the first elections that took
6 place so that at those elections, more than 50 per cent
7 was won by the Croats. They had a majority, and this
8 was the result of the elections that took place in 1991.
9 Q. At that time was there set up a Joint Council? Was it
10 established at that time?
11 A. At that time there was a joint legislative and executive
12 branch of government. The legislative was the municipal
13 assembly and the executive was the executive council of
14 the municipal assembly, which was the local government.
15 Q. In November 1991, the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna, HZ-HB, was established. Did the situation
17 you have briefly described to us, concerning the Muslims
18 and the Croats in Vitez, start to change after that
19 date, and in which terms, if so?
20 A. The situation after the formation of the Croatian
21 Community of Herceg-Bosna, in the first days or months,
22 did not change much in Vitez, but there was an evident
23 tendency on the part of the Croatian authorities to
24 dominate over the Muslim population.
25 Q. How did this tendency show itself? Can you give us some
2 A. The government which was joint after the formation of
3 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Croats
4 sought to form the Croatian Defence Council and they
5 succeeded in doing that at the beginning of 1992. The
6 Muslims did not participate in that government.
7 Q. You told about the establishment of the Croatian Defence
8 Council, HVO. You described the main consequences of
9 the establishment of the HVO in Vitez. Had there been
10 at that time an attempt by the Muslims to find a
11 peaceful way to co-operate with the Croats within these
12 new structures that were being set up, I mean the HVO?
13 A. Yes, there was an attempt made in mid 1992, I think it
14 was in June, if I recollect well. There was a joint
15 session of representatives of the Croats, that is the
16 main board of the HDZ of Vitez municipality, and the
17 municipal board of the SDA of Vitez, together with all
18 other people of goodwill and people who were prominent
19 figures locally. Unfortunately, after two hours of
20 debate and discussions, we did not succeed in reaching
21 an agreement to form a unified government that would be
22 called the Croatian Defence Council. The Muslims
23 insisted that it be called the Croatian-Muslim Defence
24 Council, and at the beginning, at this meeting, this
25 seemed to be reasonable and even acceptable. However,
1 this title was not accepted so that the Muslims did not
2 wish to participate and did not participate in the
3 Croatian Defence Council; that is in the local
4 government by that name.
5 Q. Where did this meeting take place? Do you remember a
6 particular place in Vitez?
7 A. The meeting was held in the amphitheatre of the
8 elementary school, which was then called the Brotherhood
9 and Unity Elementary School in Vitez.
10 Q. Did you take part in the discussion and what in this
11 case had been at that time your proposals for finding a
12 reasonable settlement of the situation?
13 A. I participated in the discussions at the meeting,
14 expressing the will and desire for life together, and
15 trying to avoid any disruption of life in Vitez
16 municipality and, of course, I supported the position
17 that the government should be called the Croatian-Muslim
18 Defence Council, which regrettably was not accepted at
19 that meeting.
20 Q. How do the Muslim community react to this unhappy result
21 of the meeting? Did they organise themselves
23 A. At first they stayed on in the municipal building, but
24 soon they were chased out of that building if they
25 refused to sign allegiance to the government of the
1 HVO. After that, self-organisation was resorted to, and
2 a body was formed called the Co-ordination Committee for
3 the Protection of Muslims. This body did not belong to
4 any governmental institution or political organisation.
5 Q. Do you remember the names of the members of this Muslim
6 committee to organise defence? Some of them, at least?
7 A. I do remember the names, such as Hasan Sadibasic, Nusret
8 Kalco, Munib Kijmovic and so on.
9 Q. Do you remember Varupa Midhat as a member of that
11 A. Yes, he was a member of that body, yes.
12 Q. You say that during this period, the Croatians, to put
13 it in a more precise way, the HVO, had already taken
14 control of the most important institutions. Could you
15 explain better in which forms did this happen?
16 A. They took over the police station, the post office
17 building, the municipal building, and more or less all
18 the public institutions that existed at the time, and
19 this happened by force, they did this by force.
20 Q. In particular, what happened in your factory, in the
21 Vitezit factory?
22 A. I was working at the time as the manager for engineering
23 and development, and the so-called civilian guards who
24 were providing security for the plant were withdrawn and
25 instead the HVO police were introduced, a special
1 purpose police unit, which protected all the factories
2 in the compound. This police force consisted
3 exclusively of Croats.
4 Q. Did they put any flag or insignia on the factory, at the
5 entrance of the factory?
6 A. At the main entrance to the factory, the flag with the
7 chequer board insignia was hoisted, which was a visible
8 sign as to whom the factory belonged to.
9 Q. Do you remember attending a military parade in the fall
10 of 1992 at the local soccer stadium, and can you
11 describe what happened on that occasion?
12 A. Yes, I attended it briefly, where the local HVO unit
13 gave the oath. I was there briefly, but I saw the
14 entire ceremony on television immediately after that,
15 that is the same night.
16 Q. How did the ceremony develop? Was there a parade, was
17 there some oath taken by the troops?
18 A. As I said, the units were on parade at the local
19 stadium. They gave the oath and what I found
20 particularly remarkable, the oath was given in words "Za
21 Dom Spremni", "ready for homeland". In that period,
22 this was reminiscent of World War II, where that
23 movement was characterised as fascist.
24 Q. Who was in command of the brigade on that occasion, the
25 commander of the unit who was parading?
1 A. The commander of these units was Mario Cerkez.
2 Q. Did some major political representative give a speech in
3 that occasion?
4 A. It was a public event and all local leaders of the
5 Croatian Community were present, Dario Kordic, Pero
6 Skopljak and others were present. I think that Tihomir
7 Blaskic was there as well.
8 Q. I imagine they expressed the programme of that actions.
9 Was there in their words any mention of the role that
10 the Muslim community, minority, should have played in
11 their new idea of the country?
12 A. Among others, Dario Kordic also addressed these units,
13 that is these soldiers. In my view, he had a very
14 partial view about the role of the Croatian people, and
15 the Muslim people were not mentioned in this speech.
16 According to him, there were no Muslims, virtually, in
18 Q. Mr. Sivro, do you remember what happened in Vitez and the
19 surrounding area on 20th October 1992? You were there,
20 you were in Vitez at that time?
21 A. Yes, on 20th October, a minor incident happened in
22 Vitez, and I would like to stress that it was an
23 incident, not a conflict. There was a conflict in Novi
24 Travnik, and the local leaders of both armies, which was
25 then the Territorial Defence and the HVO, agreed not to
1 get involved in the conflict in Novi Travnik. However,
2 certain units coming from the direction of Busovaca,
3 I think they were from Kiseljak and Busovaca, started in
4 the direction of Novi Travnik. In the village of
5 Ahmici, a barrier was put up in order to prevent these
6 forces from coming to Novi Travnik. There was shooting,
7 and I think that a member of the Territorial Defence was
8 killed by a sniper on that occasion. The HVO units did
9 not pass through to Novi Travnik, and the HVO took an
10 exception to that, and pulled out the command of the
11 Territorial Defence in Vitez and its logistics centre.
12 Some of the people from this command were arrested
13 and physically mistreated and four or five -- after four
14 or five days, things were kind of settled and there were
15 no more acts of provocation.
16 Q. Did this incident -- you said it was not a conflict in a
17 proper military sense; did this incident produce
18 consequences as to Vitez, in the sense of was Vitez
19 divided and the division of Vitez you have mentioned,
20 was this the first time that the town was divided into
21 areas, into Croatian and Bosnian Muslim areas, and was
22 it possible for Muslims to move freely from one area to
23 the other?
24 A. At that time, you could not speak about a division of
25 the town, but the formations of the then Territorial
1 Defence, and as I said the logistics centre, were forced
2 to pull back to Stari Vitez, and after these changes,
3 the Muslims did not feel safe living in Vitez. However,
4 people still went on and about their business. They
5 went to work and their life went on.
6 Q. You mean, if I understand well, that the Territorial
7 Defence could not operate as a military unit out of
8 Stari Vitez?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In general, how did the situation evolve from this
11 period, October 1992, until April 1993?
12 A. In this period, the situation was not good at all. The
13 relations between Croats and Muslims kept
14 deteriorating. There were constantly small local
15 incidents. Business premises, shops and cafes, anything
16 that was Muslim property, was destroyed either by
17 explosives or by physical force. The Muslims, so to
18 speak, were not free to conduct their business any
19 longer in the urban part of Vitez.
20 Q. Let us go to 15th April 1993. Was that a special day
21 for the community, for the Muslim community in Vitez?
22 Was it, and for which reason?
23 A. I would not call it a special day for the Muslim
24 community, but it was a special day. On that day, the
25 Territorial Defence grew into the Army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that was its official name, and that
2 day was celebrated as the day of foundation or the
3 establishment of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On
4 that date, there was a small cocktail party in the fire
5 fighters' hall in Vitez, and the representatives of the
6 Croatian people were invited to this small celebration,
7 both of the civilian and the military administration.
8 The representatives did show up and took part in
9 this small celebration. It looked as if we could have a
10 communal life and that these conflicts and acts of
11 provocation would not take place. This was very brief
12 and with this cocktail party, this getting together of
13 these groups actually came to a stop. I was present
14 there on that occasion.
15 Q. Was there on the same day an announcement on TV, on
16 Croatian TV, from the so-called crisis staff, and what
17 was the content of this announcement? Was it on the
18 same line of brotherhood and an expectance of peaceful
20 A. That evening, the local television of Vitez municipality
21 broadcast a programme. This television was controlled
22 by the Croats, the entire TV station. The following
23 information was broadcast, that all misunderstandings
24 and all incidents had been brought under control, and
25 that people should go to bed with ease, that there will
1 be no conflict between the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 and the Croatian Defence Council.
3 Q. Could you please explain to the court briefly what were
4 the functions and what was the composition of the crisis
6 A. I think that this was called "crisis staff" or
7 "headquarters", and it was a military organisation.
8 There were three representatives of the BiH army and
9 three representatives of the HVO present there, and
10 these were the leaders of the two respective
12 Q. So you went home and on your going home, did you notice
13 something peculiar and curious or alarming on your way
14 home that evening, after having heard about these two
15 positive events?
16 A. I heard of these positive events, but the town did not
17 have a look of normalcy at all. There were very few
18 people outside, there was something hanging in the air.
19 Everybody feared the worst.
20 Q. Then you went home, you had your dinner with your family
21 and you went to bed. What happened the morning after on
22 April 16th?
23 A. On 16th April, I was wakened at 5.00 by powerful
24 explosions that were heard very near the centre of town
25 and there was sporadic fire from small arms. I woke up
1 and I looked out of the window in the direction from
2 where the sounds of explosions were coming, and I saw
3 the surrounding villages were being attacked by mortar
4 fire, by anti-aircraft weapons, and, of course, I saw
5 fire and smoke.
6 Q. Were these soldiers and other military units -- was it
7 possible to identify who was the attacker in that
9 A. At that moment, it was not clear to me exactly who was
10 attacking, but since Vitez was, so to speak, under the
11 HVO control, one could assume.
12 Q. Was the shelling -- did you notice the shelling in a
13 specific direction? I mean, was it in the direction of
14 Stari Vitez?
15 A. Yes, I could not see Stari Vitez directly from my
16 window, but by the sounds of the explosions, one could
17 sense where these shells were falling.
18 Q. What happened in the building after the first explosions
19 were heard? First of all, how many families were there
20 in your area, in your unit?
21 A. In my building, that is the entrance where I lived,
22 there lived 12 families and they were of mixed
23 background. I think that there were four Muslim
24 families, seven Croatian families and one Serbian
1 Q. What happened in the building? Did you and your
2 neighbours try to organise in order to protect your
3 families and to have more information about what was
4 going on?
5 A. Yes, we organised and we established a building watch in
6 the front of the building, and the principle was that it
7 would always be a mixed watch consisting of two
8 persons. This went on for two or three days.
9 Q. So during these three or four days, you remained in your
10 apartment, except the time you were serving in the joint
11 guards at the entrance of the building; is that not so?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How could you get some information about what was going
14 on? Which means did you have, except looking through
15 the windows?
16 A. I could receive information by telephone, because my
17 telephone was still working. The local radio and
18 television also gave certain information, and I could
19 also receive the Radio Zenica programmes.
20 Q. Could you notice something, looking from the window,
21 something specific, someone being killed or some dead
22 body being transported?
23 A. In those days, and in that period, I was receiving
24 information that a certain number of people, that is
25 Muslims, were being detained, or were killed; in other
1 words that they were being detained or killed. Across
2 the street from my building, the building where I used
3 to live, I saw when the dead body of Midhat Varupa was
4 brought out.
5 Q. Was it the same Midhat Varupa you mentioned as a member
6 of the Muslim committee to organise Defence?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How could you recognise that that body was him?
9 A. We already had information within the building that
10 Midhat Varupa had been killed. After a while, the
11 civilian protection people came and picked up his body.
12 I knew that it was him because I knew exactly where he
13 lived and I could see his hair when he was being brought
14 out, because he had characteristic hair, it was blond.
15 Q. You personally, the inhabitants of the building, were
16 you allowed to leave the building? Was it possible to
17 get out and see what was going on during those days?
18 A. In those days, nobody was allowed to leave the building.
19 Q. "Was not allowed"; you mean in the sense that the
20 situation was too dangerous, or that somebody had
21 ordered you not to leave the building?
22 A. Over the local radio, an order was given not to leave
23 the buildings.
24 Q. Was the building visited by the HVO in those days and
25 before 19th April?
1 A. My building, that is my entrance, was not visited by the
3 MR. MARCHESIELLO: I do not know if the court wants me to go
4 on or if we have to resume the examination tomorrow.
5 I have still many questions to put to the witness.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Maybe it would be a good idea to finish
7 today. I do not know whether you have many questions to
8 ask this witness. Would it be possible to finish
9 today? I do not know. We can go on until 5.30. Would
10 it be possible to finish by then?
11 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Your Honours, I think that I am at about
12 half of my examination. I do not know whether this is
13 an answer.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, I think that we can take
15 advantage of this interruption to adjourn, because we
16 only have three more minutes left, and then we can
17 resume work tomorrow. Are you agreeable?
18 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Thank you.
19 (5.30 pm)
20 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)