1 Friday, 9th January 1998
2 (10.00 am)
3 MR. MEDDEGODA: Your Honours, before my learned friend
4 commences his cross-examination of the overnight
5 witness, yesterday I tendered into evidence four
6 Prosecution Exhibits marked P8, P9, P10 and P11. May
7 I respectfully move that those four exhibits be admitted
8 into evidence. Thank you.
9 (Witness entered court)
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Mr. Hajdarevic. Good
11 morning, ladies and gentlemen. Yesterday, you answered
12 questions put to you by the Prosecutor under a solemn
13 oath. Today, you are going to answer questions put to
14 you by the Defence counsel of Mr. Aleksovski, of course
15 still under oath. Therefore, Mr. Mikulicic, the witness
16 is now at your disposal.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours, learned
18 colleagues of the Prosecution and Mr. Hajdarevic.
19 I would like to inform the Trial Chamber that the
20 Defence has no questions to put to this witness. Thank
22 MR. MEDDEGODA: No questions in re-examination.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, Mr. Hajdarevic, you have
24 completed your testimony. We thank you for coming.
25 A. Thank you too.
1 (The witness withdrew)
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Who is the next witness, Mr. Prosecutor?
3 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, my colleague
4 Mr. Marchesiello will take over the next witness, your
6 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Good morning, your Honours. I will be
7 taking as a witness Mr. Sulejman Kavazovic, who will be
8 brought in court now.
9 (Witness entered court)
10 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Will you please read the statement which
11 is presented to you.
12 SULEJMAN KAVAZOVIC (sworn)
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, your Honour.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I am sorry. Mr. Kavazovic, good morning.
15 You are going to answer questions by the Prosecution.
16 A. Good morning, your Honours.
17 Examined by MR. MARCHESIELLO
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kavazovic. Do you feel comfortable?
19 A. Yes, I am fine.
20 Q. Can we start with your examination?
21 A. Yes, we can.
22 Q. Will you please state to the court your full name, age
23 and place of birth?
24 A. My name is Sulejman Kavazovic, I was born on 15th June
25 1969 in the village of Vrhovine in the municipality of
1 Vitez in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. How far is your birth place from Vitez?
3 A. Vrhovine is about eight to nine kilometres away from
5 Q. Could you state please your ethnic background, your
6 nationality and your ethnic background?
7 A. I am a Bosniak Muslim and a citizen of
9 Q. Will you please outline for the court your educational
10 background? Which school did you attend, starting from
11 high school on?
12 A. I completed my elementary schooling in the Dubravica
13 school in Vitez. I completed transportation secondary
14 school in Belgrade and then I completed the military
15 academy as a deputy commander for the logistics and
16 currently I am in the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
17 rank of lieutenant, in charge of transportation.
18 Q. You did join the JNA. Did you serve in the JNA army and
19 when and for how long?
20 A. Yes, I served in Delnice in Croatia in 1988/1989.
21 Q. Then did you have any experience as a civilian, in a
22 civil profession?
23 A. Yes, I did. I worked in Belgrade in a company called
24 4th July, Vostovac, as an officer for transportation.
25 Q. When did you leave Belgrade and in which circumstances?
1 A. I left Belgrade on 18th February 1992, and the
2 circumstances were that I was mobilised in the reserve
3 units of the former JNA and I was afraid that I would be
4 sent to the front-line in Slovenia or Croatia. My uncle
5 who is in Belgrade and who is a policeman helped me to
6 get out of Serbia and come into Bosnia.
7 Q. At that time I understand you did return to Vitez. When
8 was it?
9 A. I returned to Vitez on 6th March 1992.
10 Q. What did you do there? Did you start with any job or
12 A. I started to work in the secretariat for defence in the
13 municipal headquarters. I was assigned to the post of
14 policeman, and then in the municipal headquarters I was
15 then appointed the chief for transportation.
16 Q. During that time, did somebody ask you, or offer you, or
17 suggest to you to join the HVO and upon which
18 assumptions; giving you which reasons for that possible
20 A. A colleague of mine, and I would like not to mention his
21 name, asked me to come to the HVO because the salary at
22 the municipal headquarters was about 30,000 BH dinars.
23 At that time you could still convert that money. In the
24 HVO the salary would have been 400 Deutschmarks, which
25 would have been a considerable difference. However,
1 I refused that offer and I remained in the municipal
3 Q. While living in Vitez and having joined the Territorial
4 Defence, were you arrested between September 1992 and
5 April 1993 by the HVO, and on how many occasions, if
6 more than one?
7 A. I was arrested by the Croatian Defence Council on three
8 occasions. The first time I was arrested on
9 7th September 1992. I was taken to the Hotel Vitez and
10 I was kept there -- I was held for about four hours.
11 The second time --
12 Q. Let us stop at this point, since I have some questions
13 to ask you about this first episode. You said it was on
14 September 7th 1992. In which circumstances were you
15 arrested? Were you arrested as a military or as a
16 civilian? Were you dressed as a civilian?
17 A. On 7th September 1992, this was a Wednesday, it was a
18 market day. I did not work that day, so I was in my
19 civilian clothes and I was strolling in town. Around
20 1.30 pm, four members of the HVO detained me and took me
21 to the Hotel Vitez.
22 Q. Did they give any particular reason for the arrest in
23 the beginning? Were they arresting Muslims randomly or
24 in general, or were they aiming at specific individuals?
25 A. I do not know exactly, but I can offer my assumption.
1 I think that the reason for my first arrest was because
2 I was in charge of the transportation in the municipal
3 headquarters in Vitez. I think that this was the reason
4 I was detained for those four hours.
5 Q. Where did this take place?
6 A. This took place directly behind the Hotel Vitez, about
7 50 metres away from it. I was walking towards my
8 apartment. First, two men approached me, asked me if
9 I was Sulejman Kavazovic. I was taken aback, I said
10 yes, I was, and he told me to follow him and I said
11 "why", and he said, "you will get the explanation in
12 the Hotel Vitez". When I started walking in the
13 direction of the hotel, I realised I was detained, that
14 I was going to be asked questions, I would have to
15 answer questions and in the end I would be given the
16 reasons for it.
17 Q. Which function did the Hotel Vitez have at that time?
18 Was it still a hotel in the usual sense of the word?
19 A. The Hotel Vitez at that time was the command post of the
20 Croatian Defence Council. It ceased to function as a
21 place for civilians. Only certain people could walk in
22 there as civilians, with the permission of the HVO.
23 Other people did not have access to it.
24 Q. You said you were interrogated by HVO military
25 personnel. How many of them were there and did they
1 belong to some special unit?
2 A. I was questioned by three persons, one of them I know
3 personally, his name is Vlado Santic. There were two
4 other HVO soldiers there whom I did not know, they were
5 wearing uniforms.
6 Q. Did you know Vlado Santic from before? Which role did
7 he have in the HVO, if it is to your knowledge?
8 A. I knew Vlado Santic from before, but only -- knew who he
9 was and knew him by sight. I never had come in contact
10 with them. He was a policeman in the regular MUP of
11 Yugoslavia, and this was all that I knew about him
12 before I was detained.
13 Q. Could you explain to the court what "MUP" means?
14 A. The MUP means the Ministry of the Interior, so this is
15 the regular police force of the former Yugoslavia.
16 Q. What did they ask during your interrogation? What were
17 they interested in?
18 A. They were interested in certain things relating to the
19 municipal headquarters and why I was in the municipal
20 headquarters, why I was not in the HVO. I said that
21 I had to be in the Territorial Defence headquarters
22 because my people were there, and that if I were over
23 there, maybe that would not be realistic because in the
24 HVO, there were also only Croats, and that I was given a
25 post there first, before the offer by the HVO. They
1 asked me to explain what the Territorial Defence had in
2 terms of its future plans, should there be any conflict
3 between the HVO and the TO headquarters. I did not
4 answer that question, because I had no idea. I told him
5 that I was just involved in transportation, I was not
6 involved in those matters. He also asked me whether
7 there were any Mujahedin in Mahala. I said they did
8 not because I had never seen them or I did not know that
9 they were around, as far as I knew.
10 Q. Thank you. After how long were you released?
11 A. I was released after about four hours. My command
12 insisted -- in fact an agreement was reached between the
13 HVO and the TO headquarters to release me. I asked for
14 an explanation at the headquarters of the TO and nobody
15 could give me one and I did not know, so nobody knew the
16 reasons, because I was a civilian, I did not wear
17 uniform, I had no insignia on me and I was detained by
18 the members of the military formation, so I really did
19 not know.
20 Q. Thank you. Now I will ask you some questions about your
21 second arrest. When did it take place, do you remember
22 it, and where were you actually arrested?
23 A. I remember the arrest, it happened on 20th October 1992,
24 I was arrested in front of the Hotel Vitez and the
25 cinema called Slobodan Princip Selo. I was driving a
1 van with permission and there was a permission between
2 the HVO and the TO headquarters that we would be allowed
3 to pass through. We had three or four vehicles at the
4 headquarters, we had some equipment and some food and we
5 were going to go to Stari Vitez and between the theatre
6 and the Hotel Vitez, there were about ten members of the
7 HVO, they had the solje and other weapons. There was
8 Salih Omerovic there, who was then later killed in his
9 apartment. Then they stopped us, they made us get out
10 of the vehicles and then they detained us again in the
11 Hotel Vitez.
12 Q. Thank you. So I assume you were acting as a military in
13 that moment, so you were in uniform, you were wearing
14 your uniform?
15 A. Yes, at that time I was wearing my uniform, it was a
16 camouflage uniform, made of the tent material, canvas,
17 because at first we did not have enough uniforms so we
18 made them ourselves, so that was what I was wearing when
19 I was arrested and taken to the Hotel Vitez.
20 Q. Were there other Muslim officers and/or soldiers held
21 there as prisoners with you as you arrived there?
22 A. There was no one there before us, so this man Salih and
23 I were the first to arrive. However, after a while,
24 while we were being questioned, and again I was
25 questioned by Vlado Santic, then he ordered to the
1 policemen to take us, so they took us to the ladies
2 toilet, down in a bowling room, and we were locked up
3 there and there was an armed guard who was guarding us
4 there. We had received a guarantee from Sefkija Djidic,
5 our commander, that we were free to pass through Vitez,
6 the HVO had promised nobody would be mistreated so that
7 we could reach Stari Vitez. However, we were the first
8 who tried to pass through and we were arrested. In the
9 logistics office where I worked, three other colleagues
10 remained, my boss who was the chief for the logistics
11 and two policemen. They stayed there, they were also
12 captured then and they were brought over. However,
13 Muhamed Patkovic, who was the chief of logistics, was
14 beaten up, they beat him up and brought him down there
15 and he joined us.
16 Q. Did you see him after he had been beaten on that
17 occasion and how did he look like?
18 A. I saw him personally, I even poured some water over him
19 so that he would come to. His ear was split, he had
20 bruises up here (indicates). We helped him to pull
21 himself together down in the toilet.
22 Q. What happened then, where were you taken from the Hotel
24 A. The arrest took place around 2.30, 3.00. We were
25 detained in this Hotel Vitez, we were questioned for
1 about half an hour. After that, they put us in this
2 toilet down in the bowling room, and then they moved us
3 to the civilian MUP of the HVO in a solitary. I do not
4 know, but I heard that it was their prison of sorts.
5 Q. Could you please describe to the court the conditions of
6 the place in which you were kept?
7 A. Yes, I can. This room -- we were eight or nine, I do
8 not know exactly, there were also some people from Kotor
9 Varos, Muslims. They were there before we arrived in
10 this so-called black cell in the civilian MUP. It was
11 dark, we did not have any light, we had nothing on the
12 floor, we did not have a bench or anything, only in one
13 corner there was a toilet bowl and that is where we
14 relieved ourselves and that is where we stayed. So the
15 conditions were very poor.
16 Q. How long did you stay there?
17 A. I stayed there for three days.
18 Q. When were you released, in which circumstances? Were
19 you exchanged?
20 A. I was released on the fourth day in the morning, and
21 there was an agreement which was reached between the HVO
22 headquarters because there were some HVO members who
23 were arrested by the TO and then the agreement was
24 reached to exchange the prisoners of the HVO and the TO
25 so in the morning around 10.00 I was exchanged. My
1 communications officer from my headquarters arrived and
2 he took me and they took me to Stari Vitez.
3 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to turn your attention to
4 the third arrest. When did it take place, and in which
6 A. The third arrest happened in April 1993, on 16th April
8 Q. Could you please explain to the court what happened on
9 the morning of 16th April 1993. Where were you, and how
10 did the day start for you?
11 A. On 16th April 1993, I was at my father-in-law's in his
12 apartment, where I had spent the night with my wife, and
13 about 5.10 or 5.15, I cannot recall exactly, a very
14 powerful explosion woke me up, and I got up immediately
15 and looked through the window, through the balcony, and
16 I saw that things were not as they should be.
17 Q. What do you mean by saying that?
18 A. What I mean is that the moment I got up, I saw three or
19 four groups of HVO soldiers, fully armed, under war
20 gear, running towards a part of Stari Vitez. I realised
21 that something was wrong.
22 Q. Was Stari Vitez the particular area of Vitez in which
23 the TO were stationed?
24 A. Yes, Stari Vitez was the place where the headquarters of
25 the Territorial Defence was based and I worked there
1 until 15th April 1993.
2 Q. Let us stay with 16th April. How did you spend that
3 day? Did you hide in your father-in-law's apartment?
4 Did you try to go away and reach your headquarters?
5 A. On that day, the 16th in the morning, when I was
6 awakened by this powerful explosion, I looked through
7 the window, saw these men running and I thought about
8 it, seeing they were in complete war gear, that there
9 must be a reason why they were running. So I realised
10 that my position was not an easy one being a member of
11 the Territorial Defence and that the whole of Vitez knew
12 this. The part of the town where I was, that is where
13 my father-in-law's apartment was, was under the control
14 of the HVO. So I opened a part of the window, one of
15 the panes of the window, and I looked around to see
16 whether there was a chance for me to get out. But I saw
17 that there were at least two HVO members standing and
18 watching over each of the buildings. So if I had left
19 through the window, one of them would have seen me, so
20 I went back in and I spent all the time in the toilet or
21 in the bedrooms, because on that day, 16th April, the
22 Muslims were being rounded up from the buildings, they
23 were put into cars and combi vehicles and taken towards
24 the cinema, the hotel, the secondary school centre, the
25 social accounting building, so I was afraid that someone
1 might find me there because they knew I was a military
2 policeman and that I was working in the TO headquarters.
3 Q. Let us go now to 19th April. Were you arrested in that
4 occasion, on that day, and in which circumstances did it
5 happen? Who did arrest you?
6 A. On 19th April 1993, my father-in-law's building, it was
7 the turn of that building for the Muslims to be rounded
8 up and detained in camps around Vitez. Since all the
9 people in the building knew that I was there, both the
10 Croats and the Muslims, no one had told anyone that
11 I was there, but when this building's turn came to be
12 cleansed of Muslims, I was in the apartment and suddenly
13 my wife came in and said, "run as quickly as you can
14 because they have come to collect you". (redacted)
19 (redacted) and my wife came up to him and told him
20 I was in the apartment. He was surprised and wondered
21 how come I was there and she said that we had been there
22 for the past three nights and he told her, "all I can do
23 to help him is to take him to the SDK", that is the
24 social accounting building, "where I can help him and
25 tell people not to hurt him, to take care of him and so
2 So my wife came back and asked me whether I agreed
3 and I said, "yes, I do not care. Obviously I have to
4 give myself up, there is no point in hiding any more",
5 and so he said he would come back in an hour's time, and
6 he did come back with two military policemen and two
7 civilian policemen. He put me in the van, me, my
8 father-in-law and the other Muslims in that building,
9 and we were driven off to the Vitez SDK building.
10 Q. Can you describe the situation you found at the SDK?
11 Had it been transformed into a detention place? How
12 many, if Muslim, were there?
13 A. The situation in the Vitez SDK building was very bad. A
14 building that had three premises, the largest of which
15 was 4 by 3 metres, and there were 62 civilians put up
16 there. The age ranged from 12 to 62, the age of the
17 detainees. We were piled up like sardines, we could not
18 sleep, we could not move around, there was only a single
19 toilet to 62 people, which is really below the minimum.
20 We had no right to any visits at first. Later on, we
21 were allowed to have visits. We could not ask for
22 anything. In the morning, we got 125 grammes of fish
23 and a quarter of a loaf of bread, and that was all we
24 got in the first 24 hours.
25 Q. How long did you stay at SDK, for how many days?
1 A. I stayed in the SDK for three days, until the 22nd ,
2 when I was taken by two military policemen and a driver,
3 a Hungarian who was also a military policeman, and they
4 took me to Rijeka to dig trenches and dugouts for the
6 Q. Now Mr. Kavazovic, I am going to show you a map which has
7 been already provided to the Defence, a military map,
8 I think, of the area, of the Vitez-Busovaca area. May
9 we have it numbered, please? Can you show it to the
10 Defence, please?
11 THE REGISTRAR: This document bears the number 12, it is
12 exhibit number 12.
13 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Can you see the map? Yes, thank you.
14 Now, Mr. Kavazovic, can you show and sign with the marker
15 which locality you have mentioned now, where you first
16 were taken to dig trenches from Vitez.
17 A. The first time I was taken to dig trenches from Vitez to
18 Rijeka, and I will mark the place called Rijeka where
19 I was taken to dig trenches.
20 Q. Could you sign it with an A, please?
21 A. (Witness marks map).
22 Q. Rijeka is being signed with A. How long did you stay
23 there and for how long did you work trench digging in
24 that place, in that area?
25 A. I stayed in Rijeka for about an hour, an hour and
1 a half, not longer. I was digging trenches in the area
2 between the HVO and the TO. I was exposed to fire, to
3 very strong fire, and I stayed there for about an hour
4 or hour and a half, not more. From there, I was taken
5 to the Bungalow.
6 Q. Can you please locate this place on the map, the place
7 you refer to as the Bungalow. Where was it?
8 A. The Bungalow is a restaurant that was close to the
9 village of Nadioci in Rasko Polje. It used to be a
10 restaurant close to a bathing area and I shall mark it
11 now. As the building as such cannot be seen, has not
12 been marked on the map, I roughly circled the area where
13 this restaurant, this Bungalow could be.
14 Q. Could you please mark the area with a B?
15 A. (Witness marks map).
16 Q. You say the Bungalow, you describe the Bungalow as a
17 restaurant or in general a leisure place. Was it like
18 that when you arrived there on that occasion?
19 A. No, that place was no longer a recreational area, it was
20 a place occupied by members of the HVO and by the
21 Jokers, the special purpose unit.
22 Q. Could you please be more detailed about this Joker unit?
23 In which kind of operation were they involved?
24 A. I personally do not know much about it, but as far as
25 I know, it was a unit for special operations on
1 front-lines when something needed to be captured, when an
2 attack had to be carried out. They wore black uniforms,
3 and what I found typical and important was that
4 I recognised in the Bungalow Mr. Vlado Santic, who had
5 interrogated me both the first and the second time in
6 the Hotel Vitez.
7 Q. How did Santic react on seeing you?
8 A. Santic, when we arrived, lined us up on the terrace of
9 this restaurant; he said, "line up, one next to the
10 other", and I was the first. He addressed me, "so it is
11 you again", those are the words he used. I did not say
12 anything, I just shrugged with my shoulders and then he
13 ordered five policemen and the policemen who had brought
14 us there to put me and my colleagues in a car and to
15 take me to Bralo, Miroslav Cicko's at Kratina and five
16 or ten minutes later that is what they did. Five
17 policemen got in with us and the same Madzar, Hungarian,
18 was driving. They took us to Kratina, handed us over to
19 Miroslav Bralo, or Cicko as he was known.
20 Q. Now could you please sign the locality, the place
21 corresponding to the name of Kratina, which I understand
22 is a village within the hills. Do you know where -- can
23 you show us where it is on the map?
24 A. I can, I can show it to you, but let me first explain
25 that Kratina is a Serb village with not more than five
1 or six households and a Serbian chapel, and it lay just
2 above Nadioci. The Serbs had moved out of that village
3 in 1992 and it was close to Nadioci, so that it was
4 later taken over by the Croats, so let me now mark
5 Kratina where I was taken to dig trenches.
6 Q. Can you mark the area with a C, please?
7 A. (Witness marks map).
8 Q. Thank you. How was Bralo, the commander I assume,
9 introduced to you on your arriving at Kratina and how
10 did he look like?
11 A. He was not introduced to us by anyone, but when we got
12 there, this military police handed us over to Mladen
13 Bralo, he said, "line them up here", we did, we stood
14 one next to another in line and then he asked us whether
15 we knew who he was. We said we did not, but I knew who
16 he was. As a child, I used to go swimming at Rasko
17 Polje. I never actually communicated with him, but
18 I knew him by sight and I knew that they called him
19 Cicko, but I did not know that his real name was
20 Miroslav Bralo then. So I recognised him, whereas the
21 others did not. He told us that his name was Miroslav
22 Bralo, he said, "they call me Cicko", those were his
23 words, he had a black bandanna, he had quite long hair,
24 he had black leather gloves with the finger sections cut
25 off, he had a Motorola, he wore a black uniform, and he
1 asked whether any one of us knew how to cross
3 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Kavazovic, first to go into this. Can
4 I ask you, was there somebody else at his side that you
6 A. Mr. Anto Furundzija.
7 Q. Did he know you and did he tell you something on meeting
9 A. At the time he did not say anything, he did know me.
10 I and Anto Furundzija used to work together in the TO
11 staff. Anto Furundzija was the commander of a platoon
12 of 20 policemen in the TO staff because at first, in the
13 beginning, in 1992, there were a certain number of
14 Croats who were members of the TO staff. At the time,
15 we were not just Muslims, but there were Muslims and
16 Croats and even a small percentage of Serbs who were
17 members of the TO staff.
18 Q. Was Furundzija's attire the same as Bralo's?
19 A. Yes, he also wore a black uniform and had a Motorola.
20 Q. Let us go back to this first meeting. You are saying
21 that Bralo put you in a line and asked you to cross
22 yourself; is that not so?
23 A. Yes, he lined us up and he asked, "who knows how to
24 cross himself?". I personally thought it over, I know
25 how to do it the Serbian way because I spent quite a
1 number of years in Belgrade and I knew how to cross
2 myself in the Orthodox way, but I did not know how the
3 Croats did it. Then a member who was with us, Mirsad
4 Ahmic, he raised his hand and he said, "I know how to
5 cross myself". He said, "you will go from one to the
6 other and you will explain to each one of them how they
7 should cross themselves", and he started with me,
8 explaining out loud, "in the name of the father, the
9 son, the holy spirit, amen", and then all of us had to
10 cross ourselves like that and then when we did it he
11 told us all, "now shout out loud these same words and
12 cross yourself", and we did.
13 Q. Did somebody in that occasion make any mistake, and with
14 what consequences?
15 A. Yes. While crossing himself, somebody called Jasmin
16 Cengalovic, he was a gypsy, a Romany, and he got the
17 order of the words wrong and then Mladen Bralo took a
18 pickaxe, he lent it against his forehead, he cursed his
19 balija mother and he said, "if you make a mistake now,
20 I will cut your head off". I do not know whether it was
21 out of fear or simply due to good luck, he managed to
22 cross himself correctly and he said, "luckily you did it
24 Q. How long did you remain in Kratina, and what you did
25 during those days?
1 A. From the 22nd at about 3.00, when I got to the Bungalow
2 I was at Kratina by 4.00, until the 30th, I think, I do
3 not know exactly, or maybe the 29th I stayed at
4 Kratina. I was working, I had to do heavy manual
5 labour, dig trenches, we carried planks, we roofed
6 dugouts, we did digging mainly in areas exposed to fire
7 where they could not do the work, we had to do it, under
8 very strong fire of both sides, that is the HVO and the
9 TO, they were exchanging fire and we were digging
10 trenches between them, so that we worked from early
11 morning until late into the night, sometimes even during
12 the night until 2.00 or 3.00.
13 During my stay in Kratina, I am a vegetarian and
14 I do not eat meat or fish, but I was, of course, afraid
15 for my life and I think it was the 28th, the day I was
16 transferred to Busovaca, digging into a rock my palms
17 were bloody from blisters and at one point I told a
18 colleague of mine, "I cannot go on" and I fell, I lost
19 consciousness. I fainted.
20 Q. Can you stop a moment. Who asked you to dig into that
21 rock, and which kind of tools did you have to dig into
22 the rock?
23 A. I do not know what his name was, I think he was one of
24 the commanders, he must have been a commander when he
25 was issuing orders. He gave us a pickaxe, I do not know
1 how to explain it, a pickaxe which has a pointed end and
2 we had to hit the rock with it, with the pick, but, of
3 course, you could not do anything with it. Five of us
4 took turns doing it, but I was the one who had to work
5 hardest, because whenever he came up, he said, "why are
6 you not working?", so I took the pickaxe and I hit the
7 rock with it in their place, even, and I kept on
8 working. I had to eat the fish, even though I could not
9 stand it and I had great problems with my digestion and
10 that is when I fainted about 4.00 in the afternoon, I do
11 not know whether it was the 28th or the 29th exactly.
12 Q. What happened then?
13 A. After I had fainted -- I fell into a coma, I woke up at
14 Busovaca in the emergency ward. When I came to,
15 I looked up, left and right, and I saw that there was a
16 soldier of the HVO next to me, he had a shaven head and
17 there were two nurses dressed in white and I had an
18 infusion attached, an IV attached. I saw my colleagues,
19 Jasmin Cengalovic and another one with me, and they were
20 put into the van with me to accompany me to the
21 emergency ward, and I asked them, "could anyone explain
22 to me, what is this and where am I?". But one of the
23 nurses, she was very beautiful, and she asked me how
24 I was, whether I felt better. I just said that my arms
25 were hurting and I could not stand up and that my head
1 was hurting very bad and she told me that I had muscle
2 cramp, probably from all that hard physical work and the
3 stress I was exposed to. She said I was not to worry
4 and that everything would be fine.
5 Q. Where were you taken then from Busovaca, from that
6 medical facility?
7 A. After about an hour, when I had recovered and I had
8 received the intravenous drip and when I came to a
9 little, the military police van came, the same one that
10 was driving us all the time with the driver Madzar.
11 I did not have a seat and I could not stand, so I held
12 on to the roof and I was taken to the Kaonik camp.
13 Q. What time was it about?
14 A. This may have been about 5.10 or 5.15 in the afternoon,
15 before dusk.
16 Q. Who did receive you at that camp? Were you registered
17 or did you receive some sort of -- was your name written
18 down by some official in the camp?
19 A. No one received us in the camp. We were taken there,
20 the driver Madzar went in and said that we would stay
21 there probably until the next morning or the day after,
22 that he would come to pick us up with the van. I was
23 taken over by a soldier of the HVO, I do not know his
24 name, and he escorted us through a small corridor, then
25 another corridor and then they put me up in a room with
1 the number 5.
2 Q. Now Mr. Kavazovic, I am going to show you an aerial
3 photograph of Kaonik camp. Can we have it numbered,
4 please? Show it to the Defence as well, please.
5 I think the Defence already has a copy of that.
6 Do you recognise the area? Have you given a look
7 at the photograph?
8 A. Yes, this is the area.
9 Q. Do you recognise the camp?
10 A. Yes, I recognise it.
11 Q. Could you please mark with a marker the building that
12 you were brought into.
13 A. (Witness marks map).
14 Q. Will you sign it with the letter A, please?
15 Mr. Kavazovic, you said you were taken into building
16 number 5. Was this actually the number of the building,
17 or do you connect this number -- this is something that
18 belongs to any other source? Was it building with the
19 number 5 on it?
20 A. This building I called this building number 5. Counting
21 the buildings that are in the compound, and I am going
22 to show you presently, I numbered it as 5, so it was my
23 own marking. I do not know if that is really building
24 number 5. I used it for my own marking. This would be
25 building number 1, next to it would be number 2 and then
1 3, 4, 5 (indicates).
2 Q. Could you please sign each building with a different,
3 starting with B.
4 A. (Witness marks map).
5 Q. So you marked the buildings respectively, the building
6 you were detained in with letter A and the surrounding
7 buildings with letters B, C, D and E.
8 Let us go to building A. Was it divided into
9 cells? How can you describe the interior of that
11 A. Yes, in front of this building marked with A there is a
12 balcony, which on one of its sides has a staircase and
13 that is an entrance and then from this entrance you
14 enter the building, so inside the building. You pass
15 through a small hallway, maybe it is one or two metres
16 long, and then you reach another hallway and in this
17 hallway are these rooms where we were put up. The first
18 room is on the right-hand side. On the left-hand side
19 is a toilet and then there would be rooms 1, 2, 3, 4 and
20 5, and on the other side 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, I believe.
21 Q. Which was the aspect of the cell you were put into. How
22 many of you were in the same cell?
23 A. The cell where I was placed would have been 3 by 3 or 3
24 by 2, something like that, maybe 3 by 4 I am not sure,
25 because I could not see, it was dark. But it was not
1 large. We were three in this cell where I was, myself,
2 Adnan Pilic and there was a Croatian man, I think his
3 name was Zeljko.
4 Q. How long did you remain at Kaonik?
5 A. I stayed in Kaonik for two nights; that is I spent that
6 night and the following night and on the third day in
7 the morning, I was taken to the SDK building in Vitez.
8 Q. During those two nights and three days, were you forced
9 to perform any work while at the camp?
10 A. Yes, the next day I went out to load up some ten
11 sandbags into a truck and that was all that I was forced
12 to do in terms of any labour.
13 Q. Did you see something unusual while loading?
14 A. The corner I could see between buildings B and C, there
15 was a road between buildings A and C, and there I saw --
16 I am going to show it here, where I saw a military truck
17 belonging to the HVO, where some crates were being
18 loaded. I am also going to show the spot where I loaded
19 the sand, sandbags, I do not know what it was for, what
20 its purpose was. I could assume what its use may have
21 been, but this is what I am going to show now. Here at
22 this intersection, that is where I was loading this
23 truck, it was a small truck (indicates). There were
24 sandbags and there was a man who ordered us, he was
25 inside, he was a guard. This was here.
1 Q. Could you mark that spot with the letter F, I think?
2 A. (Witness marks map).
3 Q. Thank you, go ahead.
4 A. Next I am going to show where the truck was, where some
5 green crates, some military crates were being loaded.
6 This was the building, marked with C. This is where the
7 truck was, which was loading ammunition.
8 Q. Could you mark that point with letter G, please.
9 A. (Witness marks map).
10 Q. You said that they were loading a truck with ammunition,
11 is this your evaluation of the scene, is it something
12 that you imagined? Will you please be more specific on
13 that point?
14 A. That is my assumption. There were green military crates
15 being loaded on to this truck. It could not have been
16 food, it could only have been some kind of ammunition.
17 I do not know this for certain, but I assume it was some
18 kind of ammunition. There were always one or two trucks
19 there, I heard that later from my colleagues after we
20 were exchanged and after we were in Zenica, a colleague
21 of mine said there was always a truck there and it was
22 always transporting some things, so I -- that is what
23 I heard, but I saw that on that day, I saw this truck
24 being loaded.
25 Q. Did you have an opportunity to meet the warden, the
1 commander of the camp?
2 A. No, I never met the gentleman, nor did I ever see him.
3 Not only him, in fact it was only a single guard that
4 I saw and I may not be able to recognise him. That is
5 all with respect to the camp as a camp. I saw a
6 colleague of mine during the breakfast time when I was
7 going to the toilet, there was a father of a soldier of
8 mine who served in Belgrade. When he saw me there at
9 the toilet, he asked me what I was doing there, I said
10 that I did not know and tears appeared in his eyes,
11 because he was sad. He had a son my age, around my age,
12 and that is all I saw in terms of the people that I knew
13 or knew of.
14 Q. You never heard the name of Zlatko Aleksovski during
15 your stay in the camp?
16 A. No, I never heard of the name Zlatko Aleksovski or any
17 other name, because I spent very little time there.
18 Q. How and in which circumstances were you released, then?
19 You were probably already told, but state please again.
20 A. On the third day in the morning in Kaonik, this man
21 Madzar came, the man who drove me around to dig
22 trenches, he came with two policemen and myself and two
23 colleagues of mine, Jasmin Cengalovic and Adnan Pilic,
24 we were returned to the SDK building in Vitez, where we
25 were to wait for the exchange, so we would go either in
1 the direction in Zenica or Travnik, where we could
2 continue to live our normal lives.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, I apologise for the
4 interruption, are you about to finish or shall we have a
6 MR. MARCHESIELLO: I have no other questions, your Honour.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much. In that case, we are
8 going to have a 20 minute break. Thank you.
9 (11.15 am)
10 (A short break)
11 (11.45 am)
12 MR. MARCHESIELLO: With your Honours' permission, before
13 cross-examination starts, I would like to tender the two
14 exhibits that have been shown to the witness into
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Kavazovic, you are now going to answer
17 questions from Defence counsel of Mr. Aleksovski.
18 Mr. Mikulicic, you have the floor.
19 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC
20 Q. Thank you, your Honours. My name is Goran Mikulicic and
21 I am Defence counsel for Zlatko Aleksovski. Good
22 afternoon. Mr. Kavazovic, I will ask you several
23 questions so please try to respond to them to the best
24 of your recollection. You said that upon your return
25 from Belgrade to Vitez you worked in the Territorial
1 Defence headquarters, is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You said that your salary was, if my memory serves me
4 rightly, about 3,000 dinars?
5 A. No, 30,000 BH dinars.
6 Q. Could you tell us how much money that would have been
7 converted into Deutschmarks?
8 A. I do not know exactly, maybe 70 or 80 German marks,
9 something like that.
10 Q. Thank you. You said that on three occasions altogether
11 during these events you were arrested. On all three
12 occasions, you were exchanged -- correction, the second
13 and the third time. The first time it was only an
15 A. The first time it was an information interview, but
16 I was arrested, I was captured because I was in my
17 civilian clothes, not in military clothes.
18 Q. Mr. Kavazovic, when you say that you were exchanged, what
19 do you mean by that?
20 A. I do not know what it entails, but I know when I was
21 first arrested, that was an agreement between the then
22 Territorial Defence and the HVO to let me go and under
23 what circumstances that happened, I do not know. The
24 second time I know that Stuart Anderson, the UN
25 commander in Nova Bila, arranged for the exchange and
1 I went from Vitez to Stari Vitez.
2 Q. Now, you use the word "exchange". Does that imply that
3 on the part of the Territorial Defence, somebody was
4 released as well?
5 A. I cannot say that, because I did not see anyone.
6 Q. I understand. Mr. Kavazovic, in the events relating to
7 your release or exchange, was Mr. Aleksovski involved or
8 did he have any participation in any of these events?
9 A. No, I do not think so.
10 Q. Earlier in your testimony, you said that you were forced
11 to perform certain physical tasks during trench digging
12 in Kratina.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you see Zlatko Aleksovski there at any point?
15 A. No, I do not know Zlatko Aleksovski at all.
16 Q. I understand. Did you hear from anyone --
17 A. No, I did not.
18 Q. Sorry, I did not finish my question. When you were
19 staying in Kratina or Rijeka, have you ever heard Zlatko
20 Aleksovski's name mentioned at all?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Can you tell us approximately, these locations Kratina
23 and Rijeka, how far are they from Kaonik?
24 A. Let me tell you, I really do not know that part around
25 that area, around Kaonik, so do not hold me for this,
1 but it is about 15 kilometres.
2 Q. So it is your best assessment?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You said that you spent two nights in Kaonik altogether?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you notice any guards in the building where you
8 A. There were two guards who were there all the time,
9 whether they were changing that I do not know, because
10 I was inside, but there were two guards in my building.
11 Q. Did these persons carry weapons?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What kind of weapons?
14 A. One of them had an automatic rifle of a domestic make
15 from Yugoslavia and the other one had a Kalashnikov.
16 Q. How were these persons dressed?
17 A. Camouflage uniforms.
18 Q. Did you see any insignia on their uniforms which would
19 identify them as belonging to a certain unit or rank?
20 A. No, I could not see. I only saw the uniforms.
21 Q. In your testimony, you mentioned a person named Miroslav
22 Bralo, called Cicko. You mentioned a person named Darko
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Very briefly, I am going to ask you a few questions
1 about them. Do you know who Darko Kraljevic is?
2 A. Darko Kraljevic was the commander of HOS in the Vitez
3 municipality. HOS stands for "Croatian Armed Forces".
4 Q. Do you recall how this unit that you just mentioned was
6 A. That is difficult to say. They had rifles, for the rest
7 I cannot speak.
8 Q. Can you tell us something about him as a person? Do you
9 know anything about him that is characteristic of him?
10 A. I do not know what would be characteristic. I know that
11 they wore the black uniforms.
12 Q. No, I am asking you about the personality of Darko
14 A. I know that he liked to drink, he had a coffee bar, and
15 he had a circle of his own men over whom he had command
16 like Lujic and the young Kistra, so they obeyed his
17 orders. That is what I know. For a while, he was
18 taking medication because his mother was good friends
19 with my mother-in-law and there was a problem once with
20 him, because he threw everybody out of the apartment
21 because he took a larger dose of something.
22 Q. A larger dose of what?
23 A. I do not know, she just said that he came home and he
24 was drunk and he took a larger dose. I do not know what
25 the dose was of.
1 Q. Very well, I am not going to ask you anything about
2 Miroslav Bralo, in order to avoid repeating anything.
3 I just want to sum up. Correct me if I am wrong, but
4 you said you never saw Zlatko Aleksovski and that you
5 did not know him, is that correct?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Is it correct that at the time when you were forced to
8 perform labour duties, you never saw him or you never
9 heard of him?
10 A. That is correct.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence has no further questions of this
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, do you have any
15 MR. MARCHESIELLO: No other questions, thank you.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, Mr. Kavazovic, you have
17 completed your testimony. The Tribunal wishes to thank
18 you for it.
19 A. I thank you too, your Honours. Thank you and goodbye.
20 (The witness withdrew)
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence counsel would like
22 to request permission to address the Trial Chamber.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, do you have any questions
24 regarding this request?
25 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honours. We have no further evidence
1 for today.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You may address the court.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: I should like to ask my colleague Mr. Joka to
4 address the court.
5 MR. JOKA: Your Honours, actually I wished directly to speak
6 to my learned colleagues on the other side of the court,
7 with a request. At the beginning of the week, we
8 submitted a motion for the provisional release of the
9 accused. The Prosecutor was given a period of time by
10 the Trial Chamber, we have no doubt that that period
11 will be respected, but we do appeal to the Prosecution
12 to respond to this motion as soon as possible so that we
13 can receive the judgement of the Trial Chamber, also as
14 soon as possible. That would be all, thank you.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor?
16 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we do not envisage any difficulty
17 in complying with the time limit of eight days that was
18 set by the Tribunal.
19 That being the evidence for today, your Honours,
20 I think that we have witnesses -- we are approaching
21 witnesses for the next session, and sometimes it is a
22 bit difficult to predict whether or not we need all the
23 witnesses or less, so it is not always entirely precise
24 until we get more into the case and realise how long
25 each witness is going to take. We were a little short
1 in our estimate today, but in any event, we could not
2 have had more witnesses here because these were the only
3 witnesses available to come at this time of year so
4 hopefully on the next occasion we will be able to ensure
5 that the full period of time that has been allocated
6 will be filled up.
7 As I say, it is not easy because it is not a good
8 policy to bring witnesses here and not call them and
9 then send them back and then bring them back again, that
10 creates considerable stress on the witnesses and we try
11 and avoid that. Sometimes our prediction can be a
12 little inaccurate.
13 That is the evidence so far for today. We
14 understand I think the next date is 23rd to 26th.
15 Your Honours, the only other thing -- perhaps the
16 only other thing has just been mentioned to me. I had
17 assumed that your Honours will respond to the
18 application by the Defence for provisional release on
19 the basis of the written material submitted, you would
20 not be seeking oral submissions on that. If
21 your Honours please.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Trial Chamber understands perfectly
23 that it is not possible to fill all the available time
24 always, but in any event, I think that every effort has
25 been made to begin this trial and to take advantage of
1 the time available. Therefore, our next session will be
2 from 23rd to 27th February, only in the morning, that is
3 from 9.00 until 1.15 pm. The other session will be from
4 6th March all day, and afterwards the 23rd to 27th, only
5 afternoon. Therefore the afternoon from 2.15 to 7.00
6 pm. That is the envisaged timetable until next March,
7 when we expect to have a second courtroom. I do not
8 know whether the Prosecution or the Defence have any
9 comments to make at this stage?
10 MR. NIEMANN: No, your Honour, no comments from the
12 MR. MIKULICIC: We have no comments, your Honour.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are going to adjourn therefore for this
14 week and we will meet again here on 23rd February. Have
15 a nice weekend everyone and success in your work. Thank
17 (12.05 pm)
18 (Hearing adjourned until 9.00 am
19 on Monday, 23rd February 1998)