1. 1 ---Thursday, 18th June, 1998

    2 (In open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning. Good

    5 morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning

    6 technicians and interpreters. Are you ready? Very

    7 well, let's begin with the case before us today. On

    8 that note, would Mr. Mark Dubuisson please inform us of

    9 which matter is before us.

    10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this is case

    11 IT-95-14/1-T, the Prosecutor versus Zlatko Aleksovski.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mark

    13 Dubuisson. For the Prosecution we have the same as

    14 yesterday?

    15 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, Your Honours. If Your

    16 Honours please, my name is Niemann, I appear with my

    17 colleagues Mr. Meddegoda and Ms. Erasmus for the

    18 Prosecution.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much, Mr.

    20 Niemann. And for the Defence, Mr. Mikulicic.

    21 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, Your Honours.

    22 Good morning, learned colleagues from the Prosecution.

    23 My name is Goran Mikulicic and together with my

    24 colleague, Mr. Joka, we are representing the accused in

    25 this case, Aleksovski.

  2. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Let us then continue, Mr.

    2 Mikulicic, you have the floor.

    3 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour. The

    4 Defence would like to call witness Kata Vidovic.

    5 (The witness entered court)

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, madam.

    7 THE WITNESS: Good morning.

    8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Do you hear me.

    9 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You will now read the

    11 solemn declaration which the court usher will be

    12 handing to you.


    14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    15 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the

    16 truth.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please be seated, madam.

    18 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: For the moment, you shall

    20 be responding to the questions put to you by Mr.

    21 Mikulicic, who is there. Mr. Mikulicic, you have the

    22 floor.

    23 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

    24 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic

    25 Q. Good morning, Ms. Vidovic.

  3. 1 A. Good morning.

    2 Q. I am an attorney representing Zlatko

    3 Aleksovski in this case. My name is Goran Mikulicic, I

    4 will ask you several questions and I would kindly ask

    5 you to answer them to the best of your knowledge and

    6 recollections. For the record, Mrs. Vidovic, when and

    7 where were you born?

    8 A. I was born in Busovaca on the 15th of

    9 October, 1958.

    10 Q. What is your ethnic background?

    11 A. I am a Croat.

    12 Q. Are you a religious person?

    13 A. Yes, I am.

    14 Q. What is your religion?

    15 A. I am Roman Catholic.

    16 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, have you always lived in

    17 Busovaca?

    18 A. Yes, I have.

    19 Q. In the Town of Busovaca itself or?

    20 A. I was born in Kacuni and raised there and

    21 after I got married I moved to the Town of Busovaca,

    22 but this is all within the Municipality of Busovaca.

    23 Q. Yes, I understand. What is your educational

    24 background?

    25 A. I completed secondary medical school in

  4. 1 Sarajevo in 1977.

    2 Q. What stream did you complete?

    3 A. General stream.

    4 Q. Did you find a job immediately after

    5 finishing school?

    6 A. Yes, I did.

    7 Q. Do you remember when it was?

    8 A. It was on the 27th of September, 1977.

    9 Q. And where did you find a job?

    10 A. At the Busovaca Health Centre.

    11 Q. And where do you work today?

    12 A. At the same health centre in Busovaca.

    13 Q. So you've been working at the health centre

    14 in Busovaca from 1977 until today, is that correct?

    15 A. Yes, it is.

    16 Q. What jobs did you have at the health centre

    17 in Busovaca?

    18 A. I worked for the epidemiological department

    19 until the war. And after the break-out of the war, I

    20 started working as a nurse at the x-ray department and

    21 again at the epidemiological department as an x-ray

    22 technician and I also worked for the emergency unit.

    23 Q. If I understand you correctly, in the first

    24 half of 1993, you were employed as an x-ray technician,

    25 is that correct?

  5. 1 A. Yes, it is.

    2 Q. Do you remember, Mrs. Vidovic, at that time,

    3 I am referring to the first half of 1993, after the

    4 break-out of the conflict on the territory of the

    5 Busovaca municipality, do you remember the structure,

    6 the organisation of work at the health centre in

    7 Busovaca?

    8 A. It was organised through the emergency unit.

    9 We were all employed at the emergency unit because of

    10 the increased number of cases at the emergency unit.

    11 Q. What exactly do you mean?

    12 A. Well, because of the events that were taking

    13 place in Busovaca at the time, because of state of war,

    14 we had to have larger shifts and we had to be prepared

    15 because of the emergency situation.

    16 Q. So you had duty service?

    17 A. Yes, we did.

    18 Q. How long was a shift?

    19 A. A shift would last 24 hours, which was

    20 followed by 48 hours off duty and then again we would

    21 take a 24 hour shift and so on.

    22 Q. Does that mean that the medical services were

    23 tendered at the Busovaca Health Centre round the clock?

    24 A. Yes, round the clock.

    25 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, who were the physicians who

  6. 1 were on your shift?

    2 A. Most of the time it was Dr. Petrovic.

    3 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, when was the first time that

    4 you encountered patients who were brought to the

    5 Busovaca Health Centre from the Kaonik facility?

    6 A. It was in late January, early February.

    7 Q. Do you remember these patients because there

    8 were something extraordinary about them?

    9 A. No, there were no differences for us among

    10 patients, they were all the same for us.

    11 Q. I will now ask you about your impressions

    12 about patients coming from Kaonik. What was their

    13 general physical appearance?

    14 A. Well, their general physical appearance did

    15 not differ from the outward appearance of other

    16 patients.

    17 Q. Did you notice any cases of malnutrition,

    18 untidiness, any particular injuries?

    19 A. No, I did not notice any such case while I

    20 was on duty.

    21 Q. While you were on duty, since you were also

    22 working as an x-ray technician, did you ever have an

    23 opportunity to make an x-ray examination of any of the

    24 patients from Kaonik?

    25 A. No, I never had such a case on my shift.

  7. 1 Q. Did you observe, and I am referring to the

    2 Kaonik patients, did you observe any symptoms of skin

    3 diseases on those patients? Were they infected with

    4 any diseases?

    5 A. No, I did not notice any such cases.

    6 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, do you remember who it was who

    7 brought these patients to the health centre?

    8 A. They were brought by Mr. Aleksovski in person

    9 and other guards.

    10 Q. Could you remember how they were brought to

    11 the health centre, did they come on foot?

    12 A. No, they never came on foot. As for the

    13 specific vehicle, I couldn't tell you more about that,

    14 but, in any case, they didn't come on foot of course.

    15 Q. Do you remember whether these individuals

    16 were in any way restrained or handcuffed when coming to

    17 the health centre?

    18 A. No, they didn't, their hands were never tied

    19 up.

    20 Q. Could you tell us more about the procedure

    21 that was applied when they would come to have medical

    22 examination at your centre?

    23 A. We would be usually informed by the guard

    24 that a patient had been brought there. And then

    25 depending on the amount of work that we had at the

  8. 1 time, we would admit them right away. If not, they

    2 would have to wait. I mean, the treatment was the same

    3 as with all other patients. It all depended, as I

    4 said, on the amount of work we had at the time.

    5 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, do you remember whether those

    6 patients had the opportunity to express themselves

    7 directly to the doctor in connection with their

    8 complaints?

    9 A. Yes, yes, they would be alone with the

    10 physician and they would describe their problems to the

    11 physician and then the physician would prescribe

    12 adequate therapy and this was followed or applied by

    13 us, paramedics, and they would be returned.

    14 Q. Do you remember, what was the usual therapy

    15 that was prescribed by the physician in view of their

    16 complaints?

    17 A. In most of the cases, they suffered from some

    18 chronic diseases, the diseases that they had from

    19 before. Usually it was a high blood pressure, a

    20 stomach pain, some chronic problems, back pain, and

    21 similar.

    22 Q. So what therapy was usually prescribed by the

    23 doctor?

    24 A. Sometimes it was oral therapy or parenteral

    25 therapy, that is either tablets or injections,

  9. 1 depending on the particular case.

    2 Q. Do you remember, was there ever a case where

    3 additional check ups were necessary?

    4 A. Yes, there were such cases and these people

    5 would come back for check ups if it was necessary.

    6 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, did you or any of your

    7 colleagues ever refuse to examine such patients?

    8 A. No, this is not allowed in accordance with

    9 our medical ethics and such thing never happened while

    10 I was on duty at the medical centre.

    11 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, did you personally, because you

    12 lived in Busovaca, know any of the patients from

    13 Kaonik?

    14 A. I knew some of them. Some of them I didn't

    15 know. I didn't know everyone in Busovaca, but I knew

    16 superficially a number of people.

    17 Q. Did you ever have personal contact with these

    18 people?

    19 A. Well, most often we wouldn't have time for

    20 that because of the amount of work we had at the time.

    21 Q. You've mentioned that the work had increased

    22 at that time?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. How many patients did you treat per day?

    25 A. Well, it depended. It varied between 50 or

  10. 1 60 because they were all processed through the

    2 emergency unit. The only department that functioned

    3 separately at the time was the dentist office. The

    4 rest was all emergency.

    5 Q. Does that mean, Mrs. Vidovic, that the health

    6 centre in Busovaca was the only medical institution on

    7 the territory of that municipality?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Does that mean that the entire population of

    10 Busovaca received medical health at the centre in

    11 Busovaca?

    12 A. Yes, whatever was necessary to conduct in

    13 medical health protection terms at that time was done

    14 at the medical centre in Busovaca, including the

    15 emergency service.

    16 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, are you aware of the Kaonik

    17 facility?

    18 A. I have never been there.

    19 Q. Do you know if any of your colleagues,

    20 physicians, from the health centre ever went to that

    21 facility?

    22 A. Yes, a colleague of mine went for an

    23 intervention there and then on two occasions, we

    24 conducted fumigation and that was all. A colleague of

    25 mine went there to give an injection.

  11. 1 Q. Do you remember the circumstances of that

    2 particular case when your colleague went to Kaonik for

    3 an intervention, was that upon an invitation or did she

    4 go there on her own?

    5 A. Well, when a patient was examined, we would

    6 apply adequate therapy and we would perform whatever

    7 was prescribed. In this particular case, it was

    8 necessary to give an injection to the patient and

    9 that's the reason why she went there.

    10 Q. At the beginning of your testimony, Mrs.

    11 Vidovic, you mentioned that you also worked for the

    12 epidemiological service, am I correct?

    13 A. Yes, you are.

    14 Q. In view of that assignment that you had, are

    15 you aware that at the time in the territory of the

    16 Busovaca municipality, are you aware of any infectious

    17 diseases, any epidemiological problems that required

    18 intervention of your service?

    19 A. No, we didn't have any such problems because

    20 we reacted on time and we carried out fumigation at all

    21 facilities that required so, such as the Kaonik

    22 facility and the local kitchen where the food was

    23 prepared and so on. So we did not have any infectious

    24 disease at the time in the municipality.

    25 Q. You've mentioned some preventative action

  12. 1 conducted by the epidemiological service?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. You've mentioned the prison at Kaonik, the

    4 Draga barracks, the health centre itself, were there

    5 any other such facilities that required such type of

    6 intervention?

    7 A. I went to the morgue to conduct fumigation on

    8 one occasion.

    9 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, in addition to the patients

    10 from Kaonik, there were other patients at the health

    11 centre at the time?

    12 A. Yes, of course. We had a gynaecological

    13 service, children were examined at the centre, whoever

    14 needed medical help would come to the medical centre

    15 because that was the only medical institution in the

    16 area.

    17 Q. In view of the circumstances and because of

    18 the war at that time, did you provide medical help to

    19 HVO soldiers?

    20 A. Yes, HVO soldiers, civilians, everyone passed

    21 through the medical centre.

    22 Q. Was there any separation? Did you treat

    23 separately patients from Kaonik as opposed to all other

    24 patients?

    25 A. No, as I said, this is something that is not

  13. 1 allowed by our ethics and we treat all patients the

    2 same.

    3 Q. I am afraid you don't understand my question,

    4 I will rephrase it. At the health centre, was there a

    5 separate space, separate room where you provided

    6 medical help to the patients from Kaonik or whether all

    7 medical services were provided at the same premises?

    8 A. They were all provided at the same premises.

    9 All patients would wait in the same waiting room in the

    10 corridor and they would all be admitted to the same

    11 surgery.

    12 Q. Does that mean, Mrs. Vidovic, that sometimes

    13 you would have in the same corridor, patients from

    14 Kaonik and HVO soldiers who were wounded and who needed

    15 medical help?

    16 A. Yes, we had cases like that.

    17 Q. Do you remember any incidents in that regard

    18 at the health centre?

    19 A. No.

    20 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, you stated that HVO soldiers

    21 were also given medical help at the centre, how was it

    22 that you knew that they were HVO soldiers?

    23 A. They would come to the centre and they had an

    24 HVO patch, Croatian Defence Council insignia.

    25 Q. So you saw HVO insignia on their uniform, is

  14. 1 that correct?

    2 A. Yes, it is.

    3 Q. In addition to that insignia, HVO insignia,

    4 did you ever see any other type of insignia on

    5 soldiers' uniforms?

    6 A. No, I didn't.

    7 Q. Mrs. Vidovic, do you remember if the guards

    8 who would bring in patients from Kaonik or Mr.

    9 Aleksovski, do you remember if they had any insignia on

    10 their uniforms, do you remember that?

    11 A. No, I don't remember that.

    12 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, this would

    13 conclude the examination-in-chief. We have no further

    14 questions for this witness.

    15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.

    16 For the Prosecution, Mr. Meddegoda.

    17 MR. MEDDEGODA: No questions in

    18 cross-examination.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, I suppose

    20 you don't have any cross-examination, or rather,

    21 re-examination.

    22 Madam, Vidovic, you've just completed your

    23 testimony here before this International Tribunal. We

    24 thank you very much for coming and we wish you a

    25 pleasant trip back to your country. Thank you.

  15. 1 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Thank you.

    2 (The witness withdrew)

    3 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, before the next

    4 witness is brought in, Mr. Mikulicic has kindly

    5 provided me a brief summary of what this witness will

    6 testify about and has also showed me some materials, so

    7 I have some notion of what the testimony will be

    8 about. In another case, a similar witness was called,

    9 a judge, to testify and I objected to the judge

    10 testifying about cases that he was himself directly

    11 in. I based that objection on the fact that, in my

    12 submission, it's inappropriate for judges to come

    13 before this Tribunal and to give testimony about

    14 matters which they, themselves, handle as judges in

    15 Yugoslavia. It's my position that the reception of

    16 this sort of evidence is inappropriate.

    17 There's a dilemma, which I can see in this

    18 particular case because there's an aspect I feel, or

    19 apprehend, that Mr. Mikulicic would argue that while it

    20 was necessary for him to demonstrate when there were,

    21 in fact, breaches of the conventions, some actions were

    22 taken and that he needs to call this type of evidence

    23 to demonstrate that matters were not permitted to

    24 simply go unpunished or undealt with. So it does --

    25 and, of course, that's properly admissible evidence --

  16. 1 so it does create a dilemma. In the other case I was

    2 involved in, there was no element or aspect of this in

    3 it, so my objection was more soundly based, if I can

    4 put it that way.

    5 I still think that the principle of judges

    6 appearing before Your Honours and testifying about

    7 cases they are involved in is inappropriate. But I can

    8 see that there is some need to overcome this issue of

    9 demonstrating that action is taken against people who

    10 breach the Geneva Conventions during the course of the

    11 conflict.

    12 There is some documentary material that Mr.

    13 Mikulicic has provided me with. It seems to me that

    14 there can be no objection to that being tendered to

    15 Your Honours to demonstrate this point. It seems to me

    16 that a witness could appear before you and say that he

    17 was, in fact, a judge and that he did deal with a

    18 certain case and so long as he didn't discuss the

    19 merits of the case, or any opinions he had, or any

    20 conclusions or findings he made, I don't believe that

    21 ought to be objectionable.

    22 I raise the matter now in the absence of the

    23 witness because I don't want to embarrass the witness,

    24 but I think that it is a matter that does need to be

    25 explored before the witness testifies.

  17. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Niemann.

    2 I think this is a relevant issue. I would

    3 like to have the opinion of Mr. Mikulicic on this

    4 issue.

    5 Mr. Mikulicic, you have the floor.

    6 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence

    7 understands the dilemma which the Prosecution faces,

    8 and the Defence also has its views on it. So may I be

    9 allowed to explain them.

    10 To begin with, the Defence holds that the

    11 fact that a potential witness was a judge should not

    12 mean that such a witness would be inadmissible. We do

    13 not intend to adduce evidence by questioning this

    14 witness by asking him questions regarding his

    15 conclusions, his decisions, in a particular case. By

    16 questioning this witness, Mr. Percinlic, the Defence

    17 wishes to demonstrate before this Court that even in

    18 wartime certain judicial functions were performed. By

    19 calling this witness, the Defence wishes to demonstrate

    20 the structure of the judiciary which functioned one way

    21 or the other in that area, and, needless to say, the

    22 Defence wishes also to show that measures were taken

    23 against perpetrators of individual acts, excessive

    24 acts, which could be attached, which could be ascribed

    25 to the Kaonik facility. And that is all.

  18. 1 The Defence will try to confine itself to

    2 that aspect of activity and will not go into the acts

    3 of that particular witness in a particular court case.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I see that the opinion

    5 expressed by Mr. Mikulicic is not far from the opinion

    6 you've expressed.

    7 MR. NIEMANN: No, Your Honour. I think if

    8 that constraint is exercised by the Defence, then the

    9 judge is not asked to express opinions on accused

    10 persons and what he thought of them and things of that

    11 nature, I don't see how that could be offensive. I

    12 think that there is a legitimate issue here for the

    13 Defence to explore, and that's why I saw it as a

    14 dilemma. But if the Defence are constrained in their

    15 questioning of this witness, I can't see how that would

    16 be offensive.

    17 I raised the objection because in the other

    18 case I objected, and my objection was sustained, and

    19 the Court did consider it inappropriate to hear

    20 evidence from a judicial officer about a particular

    21 case. So that's why I raised it.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: One moment while I consult

    23 with my colleagues.

    24 I believe we are all in agreement that the

    25 subject of this testimony will not go to the substance

  19. 1 of any conclusions, but rather merely touch upon the

    2 issues that we have already talked about before this

    3 Chamber. So the Chamber deems that this testimony is

    4 admissible.

    5 I think we should be concerned about not

    6 going beyond the limits of this objection, because, as

    7 Mr. Niemann stated, we do not want to embarrass the

    8 witness. And so if you will respect this principle,

    9 then I think this will be in the interests of justice

    10 and in the interests of arriving at the truth that this

    11 witness appear.

    12 With that said, Mr. Mikulicic, we may

    13 continue.

    14 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honours. The

    15 Defence calls Mr. Zelko Percinlic.

    16 (The witness entered court)

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, witness. Do

    18 you hear me?

    19 THE WITNESS: I do.

    20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You are now going to read

    21 the solemn declaration, which the Court usher has

    22 before you. Please read it.

    23 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    25 truth.

  20. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please be seated. Are you

    2 comfortable?

    3 THE WITNESS: Yes, I am.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Very well. Now, you are

    5 going to respond to questions put to you by

    6 Mr. Mikulicic. Thank you.


    8 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic

    9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Percinlic. My name is

    10 Mr. Mikulicic, and I am representing the accused,

    11 Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski, together with Mr. Joka in this

    12 case. We shall now ask you some questions and shall

    13 ask you kindly to answer them to the best of your

    14 recollection.

    15 I should also like to ask you to take care,

    16 to be slow enough so that the interpreters can keep up

    17 with you, so that they know what the two of us are

    18 talking about.

    19 Mr. Percinlic, will you please state for the

    20 record when and where were you born?

    21 A. I was born on the 26th of January, 1960, in

    22 Travnik.

    23 Q. And your ethnicity?

    24 A. I am a Croat.

    25 Q. Are you a believer, a religious person?

  21. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. And your religion?

    3 A. Roman Catholic.

    4 Q. Will you tell us what your education is?

    5 A. I graduated from the faculty of law in 1983.

    6 Q. Where was it?

    7 A. In Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    8 Q. And after the completion of your studies,

    9 what did you do? Did you get a job or did you do

    10 something else?

    11 A. I was in the judiciary, that is, I was with

    12 municipal courts as an associate and a judge. So I was

    13 with the judiciary.

    14 Q. So, having graduated, you then began to work

    15 in the judiciary?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. And where do you work today?

    18 A. I am at present in the district, in the

    19 regional court. So in the judiciary.

    20 Q. And which region is that?

    21 A. Number 6 or canton number 6, Central Bosnian

    22 region, with a seat in Travnik.

    23 Q. And you are the minister of the judiciary

    24 there?

    25 A. Yes.

  22. 1 Q. In the regional government?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. I see. Since when were you occupying this

    4 post?

    5 A. Since May, 1996.

    6 Q. And what did you do before May, 1996?

    7 A. Before that I was the judge in the high court

    8 in Vitez.

    9 Q. Do you remember what duty did you discharge

    10 in early 1993, that is during the conflict in Busovaca?

    11 A. I was the presiding judge of the district

    12 military court in Travnik.

    13 Q. Mr. Percinlic, could you tell us how was the

    14 judiciary organised in the Territorial Republic of

    15 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time?

    16 A. It was twofold, one could say. There were

    17 military courts and HVO courts. Those were two

    18 components of the armed forces which existed in

    19 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time. So there were the

    20 district military court, and such only existed in

    21 Travnik and had a seat in Travnik. There were five

    22 judges and the presiding judge.

    23 Q. Do you remember when the district military

    24 court in Travnik was established?

    25 A. It was established towards the end of 1992,

  23. 1 on the eve of Christmas of 1992.

    2 Q. Could you please explain to the court what

    3 was the jurisdiction of that court?

    4 A. The local and the real -- the Central Bosnia

    5 was under its jurisdiction. It would be some eight to,

    6 I think, ten municipalities. And, as far as other

    7 competencies, it covered the crimes against the

    8 armoured forces, all conventional crime, if the

    9 perpetrators were the members of the HVO forces.

    10 Q. And which was the court of appeal, which was

    11 higher instance?

    12 A. The higher instance was the civilian court.

    13 The civilian court, the higher court also with a seat

    14 in Travnik for some crimes or, rather, department of

    15 the Supreme Court in Sarajevo with a seat in Mostar,

    16 also for certain crimes, that is, the crimes tried by a

    17 chamber of judges. And the military court in Travnik,

    18 they were tried by individual judges. That is, they

    19 did not have a chamber of judges, just one judge.

    20 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Percinlic, that those

    21 military courts, which were established towards the end

    22 of '92, were under the Supreme Court of

    23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the higher instance in the

    24 civilian judiciary?

    25 A. Yes.

  24. 1 Q. Does that mean that the appeals against the

    2 rulings of military courts were ruled by civilian

    3 courts?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. Do you know, Mr. Percinlic, why were the

    6 military courts set up at the time?

    7 A. They were set up for two, I should say,

    8 principle reasons. The first reason was that in any

    9 state of war the crime rate usually is on the rise.

    10 And a second reason is that in 90 percent of the cases

    11 the perpetrators were military, that is members of the

    12 HVO or the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    13 Q. And the court in Travnik, where you were the

    14 presiding judge, was the Municipality of Busovaca

    15 jurisdiction?

    16 A. Yes, it was.

    17 Q. Mr. Percinlic, will you tell us where did --

    18 how were the judges, I mean the military judges in the

    19 military court, were elected?

    20 A. They came from the -- the basic court in

    21 Travnik and in part from the basic court in Zenica,

    22 that is former civilian judges.

    23 Q. So military judges -- so the role of military

    24 judges was performed by judges who were professional

    25 judges?

  25. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Were they professional -- were they

    3 professional soldiers or were they civilians?

    4 A. No, they were all civilians. They were all

    5 judges by profession.

    6 Q. Mr. Percinlic, one can assume that a court

    7 which conducts individual proceedings on the basis of

    8 certain criminal charges also needs to order detention;

    9 is that so?

    10 A. Yes, it is.

    11 Q. Do you remember where was the detention unit

    12 at the time, where suspects were placed before the

    13 proceedings in Travnik?

    14 A. Towards the end of 1992, that is when the

    15 court was established, and under the legal provisions

    16 we also set up a detention unit at the ministry in

    17 Mostar. It was decided that the seat of that detention

    18 unit should be in Busovaca. Those were the early days

    19 of the organisation of that unit in Busovaca, and it

    20 was sometime towards the end of 1992 and in the early

    21 1993.

    22 Q. Do you know the facility where the detention

    23 unit was accommodated?

    24 A. In view of the then possibilities, it was

    25 then put in the barracks or in the depot in Kaonik. As

  26. 1 far as I know, it was a former JNA barracks, although

    2 before that I never even knew of the place because I

    3 lived elsewhere.

    4 Q. I see. And does that mean, Mr. Percinlic,

    5 that that detention unit, which was organised in the

    6 former JNA barracks towards the end of '92, was not a

    7 unit built for the purpose?

    8 A. No, it was not.

    9 Q. But I can assume, and I stand corrected --

    10 you can correct me if you like, does this mean that

    11 some construction or reconstruction works had to be

    12 conducted in order to suit it for this purpose?

    13 A. I know that some reconstruction was needed,

    14 but I took no part in that, since it was not under my

    15 jurisdiction. It was only the detention of these

    16 people. But, yes, I could see that some construction

    17 works were underway, were completed, so that that

    18 particular facility could be turned into cells,

    19 whatever you call it, a detention facility place where

    20 detained persons could be kept under custody.

    21 Q. You said that you had only a supervisory

    22 function. What does it mean, supervisory function over

    23 the detention unit?

    24 A. Well, supervision over the detention unit, by

    25 the criminal proceedings law of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

  27. 1 meant -- that is after Bosnia-Herzegovina separated

    2 from Yugoslavia, you may put it that way, the

    3 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina adopted a decree and

    4 took over the Criminal Proceedings Act, which was

    5 formally also the Federal Criminal Proceedings Act and

    6 as such was also in force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. One

    7 of its provisions said that a presiding judge also

    8 conducted supervision over detainees while they were

    9 kept under detention. What it meant is that their stay

    10 there, their treatment, hygiene, and all the other

    11 conditions in detention for the duration of their

    12 detention.

    13 Q. So I assume that you also personally went to

    14 see that particular facility; is that correct?

    15 A. Yes, it is.

    16 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Percinlic, when was the

    17 first time that you visited the Kaonik facility?

    18 A. I visited it for the first time on the eve of

    19 the new year of 1992, in order to see who was in that

    20 detention unit, who was kept under custody, because

    21 meanwhile the basic courts, rather the municipal

    22 courts, turned over their cases to the newly

    23 established military courts. And it, therefore, was

    24 necessary to see who was under custody, what they were

    25 charged with.

  28. 1 And we also supervised the maintenance of

    2 that particular facility. That was the first time I

    3 saw the premises of the former barracks, and then I saw

    4 that some construction works had been performed. As a

    5 matter of fact, at that time they were not yet even

    6 completed. They were underway. They were in their

    7 early stage.

    8 Q. If I understood you properly, Mr. Percinlic,

    9 by coming there as the newly appointed presiding judge

    10 of the military court in Travnik, you already found

    11 some detainees there in Kaonik?

    12 A. Yes. They were perpetrators of crimes.

    13 Q. And did you visit Kaonik frequently?

    14 A. You mean in '92 or in '93?

    15 Q. In '93, later.

    16 A. In '93 I only came only once, that is until

    17 sometime until mid-January 1993, when the well-known

    18 events took place, and when communications were cut off

    19 between Travnik and that place -- rather, between the

    20 military court in Travnik and the detention unit in

    21 Kaonik.

    22 Q. Do you remember how long were the

    23 communications cut off? Did it last throughout the

    24 first half of '93 or were there intervals where the

    25 communication was re-established?

  29. 1 A. It lasted without interruption for at least a

    2 month or two, even though there was a certain

    3 communication, that is the telephone, the faxes, one

    4 could send a fax and receive a fax, or by some military

    5 communications. But there was no physical contact.

    6 That is, one could not go there. At least I could not

    7 go there because it was not safe to travel from Travnik

    8 to the site of the prison in Busovaca.

    9 Q. You mentioned that in the first half of

    10 January, '93, you visited Kaonik once. And when was

    11 the next time that you went? Do you remember?

    12 A. I went there next towards the end of March,

    13 1993, in the latter half or the end of March, I can't

    14 remember exactly. But it must have been the end of

    15 March '93 or after the 15th of March.

    16 Q. And I assume that you came to perform

    17 supervision or for some other reason?

    18 A. Only for the supervision, because there was

    19 no supervision for almost two months, for these

    20 objective reasons that I already mentioned.

    21 Q. And what kind of people did you find in the

    22 district military prison in Kaonik? What was their

    23 structure, I mean insofar as the proceedings were

    24 concerned?

    25 A. Well, there were detainees. Ninety-nine

  30. 1 percent of them were detainees. And that is people

    2 charged for things that are new from the cases that had

    3 been filed with our court.

    4 Q. Apart from these individuals, that is the

    5 detainees and those cases in the courts, did you find

    6 any other individuals there?

    7 A. No.

    8 Q. Mr. Percinlic, do you know, within that area

    9 where Kaonik Prison is, how many buildings are there?

    10 Did you ever visit them?

    11 A. Well, yes, I did. There were several

    12 buildings. At the entrance there is a building, I

    13 don't know what its purpose is, then this place where

    14 the detention unit was. From the outside you see that

    15 it must have been a hangar or something like that. And

    16 behind that building, some hundred metres behind, there

    17 was another hangar. And other facilities, other parts

    18 of that, I don't know what they were, because it's a

    19 very large complex and I never visited them.

    20 Q. What were the buildings that you went into?

    21 A. Only the first building. That is where the

    22 detention unit was. I never entered any other building

    23 there.

    24 Q. Mr. Percinlic, will you tell us, do you know

    25 Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski?

  31. 1 A. I do.

    2 Q. When did you meet him?

    3 A. I met him towards the end of March, 1993.

    4 That is, I met him personally then. Otherwise, we

    5 spoke on the telephone for the first time sometime

    6 towards the end of February or in the beginning of

    7 March, '93. I can't remember exactly, because so long

    8 ago, but that was roughly about them.

    9 Q. Would you recognise Mr. Aleksovski if you saw

    10 him today?

    11 A. Yes, I would.

    12 Q. Do you see him among the persons in this

    13 court?

    14 A. Yes, I do. He is behind your back.

    15 Q. And for the record, the witness stated that

    16 he could recognise the accused behind the Defence, and

    17 indicated with his hand in this direction.

    18 Mr. Percinlic, you said that before you met

    19 Mr. Aleksovski in person that you spoke to him on the

    20 telephone. Is that correct?

    21 A. Yes, it is.

    22 Q. In what capacity did you communicate with

    23 him?

    24 A. As the presiding judge of the district

    25 military court, and he was the warden, the commander of

  32. 1 the district military prison.

    2 Q. When were you -- how did you learn or from

    3 whom did you learn that Mr. Aleksovski was the

    4 commander, the warden of the district military prison?

    5 A. Well, it was also sometime in the early

    6 January, 1993. I was informed by a civil servant in

    7 the ministry of judiciary department in Mostar, in the

    8 Croatian community Herceg-Bosna.

    9 Q. Mr. Percinlic, will you tell us, how would

    10 you describe the relationship between you, as the

    11 presiding judge of the district military court in

    12 Travnik, and Mr. Aleksovski as the warden of the

    13 district military prison? How would you describe that

    14 relationship?

    15 A. Well, it was largely official. Sorry, it was

    16 at a higher level. It was -- he was a professional,

    17 that is a person who worked in such penitentiary

    18 institutions even before the war, so if I could

    19 establish the contact very quickly, and I am not

    20 speaking only for myself, but also for other judges,

    21 and I can say that it was a highly professional

    22 contact, at least as far as my competence, my

    23 jurisdiction went.

    24 Q. Mr. Percinlic, in those official contacts

    25 with Mr. Aleksovski, did you ever have -- were you

  33. 1 superior to him? Did you ever issue some orders to

    2 Mr. Aleksovski regarding the treatment of the

    3 prisoners?

    4 A. Only as regards the criminal proceedings.

    5 That is, only within my powers as accorded to me by the

    6 Criminal Proceedings Act.

    7 Q. Mr. Percinlic, I will show you three

    8 documents, and I should like to ask you currently to

    9 tell us what kind of official correspondence is it, and

    10 what was its purpose.

    11 And, Your Honours, this is an order for the

    12 transfer of a detainee from the Kaonik facility to the

    13 penitentiary in Zenica.

    14 Mr. Registrar, if I can suggest that these

    15 documents be marked with a unique number, and then be

    16 given letters A, B and C.

    17 THE REGISTRAR: Very well. This shall be

    18 documents D21/A, B, C.

    19 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, do you deem it

    20 necessary that the documents be placed on the ELMO?

    21 Q. Mr. Percinlic, you can see a document here on

    22 the ELMO. Could you please comment upon it. I am not

    23 going to ask you about the criminal proceedings

    24 conducted against the accused in this case, nor do I

    25 want you to comment on the proceedings itself. All I

  34. 1 am interested in is the procedure that was applied in

    2 case of this particular individual. Could you give a

    3 comment about that. You have before you an order

    4 requiring the district military detention unit, prison

    5 in Busovaca, that is the warden, Zlatko Aleksovski, to

    6 transfer this individual to Zenica; is that correct?

    7 A. Yes, it is.

    8 Q. This document was issued on the 5th of March,

    9 1993?

    10 A. Yes, that's correct.

    11 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Percinlic, that at the

    12 time it was possible to communicate between Kaonik and

    13 Zenica?

    14 A. Yes, communication was possible at the time.

    15 Q. Did such situation last all the time? I am

    16 referring to the possibility of communicating, or was

    17 that an exceptional situation?

    18 A. Well, it was possible to communicate.

    19 Communications were very good with the army court of

    20 the BiH, which we had full co-operation. And you can

    21 see that from this particular document.

    22 Q. Does that mean that the district military

    23 court in Travnik, acting upon the request of the

    24 military court of the BiH Army, does that mean that

    25 that court carried out the transfer of the accused?

  35. 1 A. We did that on the basis of the applicable

    2 provisions. Edin Zahirovic was under the competence of

    3 the district military court which had its seat in

    4 Zenica. Therefore, he was transferred to that

    5 particular court.

    6 Q. Could you describe for us in brief what kind

    7 of procedure it was? You would issue an order for

    8 transfer and then what would follow?

    9 A. We would send the case to the competent court

    10 and then to the prosecutor in Zenica. We would usually

    11 do it in the morning hours. And then after, in the

    12 afternoon, an order would be issued which was usually

    13 faxed to the detention unit. And then, before the end

    14 of the day, the order would be acted upon by the prison

    15 authorities.

    16 Q. I would kindly ask the usher to show the

    17 witness document 21/B. I think this is 25/C. We

    18 should have the document that precedes this one.

    19 What kind of document is this, Mr. Percinlic?

    20 A. This is a typical document. It's a note on

    21 transfer that is compiled by the warden of the prison.

    22 This is something that is done upon each transfer, that

    23 is including the transfer of this particular person to

    24 Zenica.

    25 Q. So this is the document on the basis of which

  36. 1 transfer was conducted, transfer of the detainee, from

    2 the Kaonik facility to the prison in Zenica; is that

    3 correct?

    4 A. Yes, it is.

    5 Q. Can the witness be shown document 21/C,

    6 please. What kind of document is this, Mr. Percinlic?

    7 A. This document is the certification of the

    8 take over of the detainee in Zenica. It was issued on

    9 the same day, on the 5th of March of 1993.

    10 Q. Thank you. These documents can be removed

    11 from the ELMO. We no longer need them.

    12 Mr. Percinlic, we have seen three documents

    13 that relate to one and the same case, is it true that

    14 this procedure of transfer of detainees was a common

    15 procedure at the time and did it function well?

    16 A. Yes, it was a common procedure at the time as

    17 you can see from the date on the document, it

    18 functioned properly. It all took place within one

    19 day.

    20 Q. Thank you. I would tender these documents

    21 into evidence.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, are you in

    23 agreement?


    25 Q. Mr. Percinlic, you've told us that you were

  37. 1 the president of the district military court, but that

    2 at the same time you actually worked as a judge, you

    3 were a trial judge as well, is that correct?

    4 A. Yes, it is.

    5 Q. Could you give us a brief description of the

    6 procedure that was applied at the time in case a

    7 criminal offence was committed? Which were the bodies

    8 that were relevant in these proceedings, and what was

    9 the pretrial procedure in that case at that time?

    10 A. The procedure was the following: The

    11 perpetrators were the members of the military. When we

    12 learned about a criminal offence, it was the military

    13 police of the Croatian Defence Council that was

    14 involved at first. They would conduct all necessary

    15 investigative actions and after that a Prosecutor would

    16 become involved.

    17 Q. Could you please slow down?

    18 A. Yes, I will.

    19 Q. So if I understand you, after a crime was

    20 committed, the military police was informed about that

    21 and it was then the responsibility of the military

    22 police to establish relevant facts in connection with

    23 that particular criminal offence, is that correct?

    24 A. Yes, it is.

    25 Q. After the military police established

  38. 1 relevant facts, then they would file a criminal report,

    2 is that correct?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. To which judicial body was that criminal

    5 report submitted?

    6 A. To the district military Prosecutor with the

    7 seat in Travnik if we have the same area in mind.

    8 Q. Yes, so the military police would submit the

    9 criminal report to the district military prosecutor in

    10 Travnik, which cooperated with the district military

    11 court in Travnik, is that correct?

    12 A. Yes, it is.

    13 Q. What would the military district Prosecutor

    14 do when they received a criminal report from the

    15 military police?

    16 A. After appropriate action was taken upon the

    17 criminal report, if all the information was gathered,

    18 then the criminal report would go to the Prosecutor and

    19 the Prosecutor would submit the request to initiate

    20 proceedings.

    21 Q. To which court?

    22 A. To the competent court. In this case it was

    23 the district military court in Travnik.

    24 Q. Therefore the district military court was in

    25 charge of the investigation as well, in addition to the

  39. 1 trial, was that the system that was applied?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Percinlic, in the first

    4 half of 1993, were there many cases that were acted

    5 upon by the district military court in Travnik?

    6 A. There was a number of cases because there

    7 were many soldiers in that area at the time. There

    8 were not many civilians there and the perpetrators of

    9 criminal offences were mostly members of the military.

    10 Q. Mr. Percinlic, do you remember the structure,

    11 the nature of the criminal offences that were before

    12 your court?

    13 A. These offences related to common criminal

    14 cases, cases of assaults, physical assaults, and

    15 assaults on property. They represented 90 per cent of

    16 the cases.

    17 Q. Did you have any serious criminal offences

    18 here? I mean murders, rapes and so on.

    19 A. There were such cases as well, yes.

    20 Q. Mr. Percinlic, do you remember a case

    21 involving a murder of two members of the Muslim

    22 nationality which was investigated before your court?

    23 I am referring to two individuals that were killed in

    24 early 1993, in February, '93.

    25 A. As far as I can remember there was only one

  40. 1 case like that. I don't know the names of the

    2 individuals involved, all I know is that they were both

    3 Muslims. I don't remember the exact date, but I

    4 believe it may have been the end of January, maybe

    5 beginning of February, 1993. On that occasion I was

    6 called by Mr. Aleksovski and this was only the second

    7 or the third time that we spoke on the telephone and he

    8 described to me what the situation was and --

    9 Q. Sorry to interrupt you, let me make it

    10 clear. Mr. Aleksovski called you on the telephone on

    11 one particular occasion, do you remember what was the

    12 reason of his call?

    13 A. Well, it's difficult for me to remember the

    14 details, but I know that he informed me that two

    15 Muslims had been murdered. I don't remember the exact

    16 location, but I know that it was on the territory of

    17 the Busovaca Municipality. He told me that he had

    18 already informed the military police and that all

    19 necessary measures had been taken by the military

    20 police. That he had informed the military Prosecutor

    21 as well, who had issued orders to the military police

    22 for the actions that were necessary for the Prosecution

    23 to complete the case.

    24 He wanted to know my opinion and I told him

    25 that he had done everything in accordance with the

  41. 1 applicable provisions, the provisions of the law on

    2 criminal procedure. And that we should try to perhaps

    3 speed it up with the military police and intervene so

    4 that the case can be completed as soon as possible.

    5 And this is what I did, I immediately called them,

    6 called the military police of the 7th battalion, I

    7 believe it was the 4th battalion. And they informed me

    8 on that occasion that all necessary steps had been

    9 already done, exterior examination of the body, the

    10 onsite investigation was already conducted and they

    11 told me that they would submit the criminal report

    12 through the usual system of communication and I believe

    13 this is what happened. The criminal report was

    14 submitted on the next day in the morning, I don't know

    15 at what time and the suspects were questioned on the

    16 following day.

    17 Q. Mr. Percinlic, I will now show you certain

    18 documents and I would kindly ask you to have a look at

    19 them and to explain to the court what they are and in

    20 which stage of the procedure they were submitted.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: This will be document

    22 D-22/A and D-22/B.


    24 Q. Mr. Percinlic, you have a document in front

    25 of you which has been marked Document 22/A, could you

  42. 1 explain to the court what this document is?

    2 A. This is a criminal report submitted by the

    3 4th battalion of the military police in Vitez and the

    4 date is 11th February, 1993.

    5 Q. This criminal report as we can see was

    6 submitted was against three individuals?

    7 A. Yes, that's correct.

    8 Q. These three individuals were suspect in three

    9 criminal cases, can you tell us what criminal offences

    10 we have here?

    11 A. This is a criminal offence that is described

    12 in Article 36 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of

    13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a serious crime, which was

    14 introduced into the Criminal Code in prior to the

    15 outbreak of the war. It's a special type of murder.

    16 Q. Why do you say that, why do you say it's a

    17 special type of murder?

    18 A. It is a special type of murder because it was

    19 believed that such murders were committed out of a

    20 national ethnic hatred, this is why it had such a

    21 significance for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    22 Q. Is this a crime which is thought to be a more

    23 serious crime than the usual crime, let's call it,

    24 usual crime of murder?

    25 A. Yes, it is a more serious crime.

  43. 1 Q. Mr. Percinlic, is that the case that you

    2 described to us when you talked about Mr. Aleksovski

    3 calling you on the telephone?

    4 A. Yes, this is the case.

    5 Q. So, you told us that after Mr. Aleksovski had

    6 informed the military police about the murders, the

    7 military police conducted certain measures which

    8 resulted in the submission of the criminal report to

    9 the competent military Prosecutor, is that correct?

    10 A. Yes, it is.

    11 Q. Can this document be removed from the ELMO by

    12 the usher, please, and can the witness be given the

    13 next document in order, 22/B. The Defence would like

    14 to apologise for a poor copy of this document, but this

    15 is all we could get. The translation of the document

    16 is far more legible and I think that the translation is

    17 more useful for the court. Mr. Percinlic, this is the

    18 request to open proceedings, which were submitted by

    19 the district Prosecutor in Travnik?

    20 A. Yes, that's correct.

    21 Q. We can see that this request was submitted in

    22 respect of four persons, whereas the criminal report

    23 was submitted in respect of three individuals, can you

    24 explain that difference?

    25 A. This was done by the military police. One

  44. 1 cannot, therefore, expect to have a highly qualified

    2 individuals working at the military police in view of

    3 the circumstances. However, the military prosecutor

    4 who is a very experienced professional, who has 19

    5 years of experience as a civilian prosecutor and who

    6 was appointed military prosecutor later on, we can

    7 perhaps conclude that on the basis of the criminal

    8 report, he believed that four individuals were actually

    9 suspect for this specific crime. This is not the first

    10 time that this happened. We had cases like that. We

    11 had, for example, cases when police would submit a

    12 criminal report against two individuals and then four

    13 would end up being suspects. The problems here involve

    14 the problems of identification.

    15 Q. What kind of procedure was applied thereafter

    16 in accordance with the law on criminal procedure that

    17 was applicable on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    18 at the time? What followed the submission for request

    19 to open investigation proceedings? What is the role of

    20 the court after that?

    21 A. Once it receives such a request, the court

    22 opens the file and then proceeds with the questioning

    23 of the suspects. These four individuals were detained

    24 in detention, so they were questioned right away. I

    25 don't have the case file, but after that, an order for

  45. 1 detention is usually issued in view of the gravity of

    2 the crime. After that, the court will hear evidence,

    3 the evidence that is proposed by the Prosecutor in the

    4 request to open investigation. It's difficult to read,

    5 but this is what it states.

    6 Q. So together with this document, the request

    7 to open proceedings, the Prosecutor would always submit

    8 a number of documents which would support his request,

    9 is that correct?

    10 A. Yes, it is.

    11 Q. Mr. Percinlic, could you please turn to page

    12 2 of this document? Could you have a look at the first

    13 paragraph on page 2, please?

    14 A. I'm sorry, I only have the English

    15 translation.

    16 Q. The Defence would like to clarify this

    17 misunderstanding. Does it mean that there is no page 2

    18 in the Croatian original?

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, indeed, it

    20 is true that the page I have here, but I believe,

    21 perhaps we could take a break now and you can resolve

    22 the issue in the meantime. Is that all right with you

    23 Mr. Niemann?

    24 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, it is.

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Very well, let us take a

  46. 1 twenty minute recess.

    2 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.

    3 --- On resuming at 10.45 a.m.

    4 (The witness entered court)

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you may

    6 continue. Thank you.

    7 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I

    8 benefited from the break and I photocopied the second

    9 page of this document, which somehow disappeared from

    10 the documentation, but it was translated. And I asked

    11 the registrar to have it distributed so that I think we

    12 can now ask the witness to answer some questions

    13 relative to this second page.

    14 So will you please be so kind to -- I should

    15 like the techs to zoom this page so that we can see the

    16 whole page.

    17 Q. So we have a request for investigation, which

    18 was submitted by the competent district military

    19 Prosecutor in Travnik. This is a common form of the

    20 request for investigation; is that correct?

    21 The witness nodded.

    22 So we have here the list of suspects; is that

    23 correct?

    24 A. It is.

    25 Q. Then the description of the crime; is that

  47. 1 correct?

    2 A. It is.

    3 Q. And this list also includes information about

    4 documents and facts on which the Prosecutor based his

    5 request that is reached constituting grounds for the

    6 request. Mr. Percinlic, will you look at the first

    7 passage of this request on the second page. Have you

    8 had a look at it?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Could you please comment on it? What is it

    11 about? What does the Prosecutor -- what is the

    12 Prosecutor requesting?

    13 A. Well, he says which are those reasonable

    14 grounds to suspect that these four committed the crime.

    15 Q. So if these reasonable grounds, derived from

    16 the criminal report of the military police, then the

    17 statements of the suspects, the witness statements.

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. And the findings of the superficial

    20 examination of the bodies, what does that mean?

    21 A. Well, it means that all that the actions

    22 required by the Criminal Proceedings Act requested were

    23 performed and that the -- and that an expert, rather a

    24 physician performed that -- the requested activity.

    25 Q. Do you know whether such an examination was

  48. 1 performed?

    2 A. In view of the circumstances, I was not in

    3 Busovaca when all that happened, but the practice

    4 applied in other municipalities also was to do it

    5 either in health centres or morgues, that is special

    6 premises in the immediate vicinity of health centres.

    7 You need to know that there were very many similar

    8 cases during that period of time.

    9 Q. Thank you. And does it emerge, then, from

    10 this document that the Prosecutor received also a

    11 document with the findings of the superficial

    12 examination of the bodies?

    13 A. It does.

    14 Q. Mr. Percinlic, will you please look at item 2

    15 on the second page of the request where the Prosecutor

    16 proposes the evidence that a Prosecutor should tender.

    17 Could you explain, perhaps, to us why does the judge

    18 propose to the Prosecutor to call in the relatives of

    19 the murdered and ask them about their claim?

    20 A. Well, that meant to call in them and to ask

    21 them what would be the amount of the claim and whether

    22 they were interested or not to have the criminal

    23 proceedings conducted to the end.

    24 Q. Is that kind of -- is that kind of request or

    25 is that kind of proposal a usual procedure in such

  49. 1 cases in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    2 A. Yes, it is in cases like this.

    3 Q. Will you please have a look at item 4 of the

    4 Prosecutor's proposal suggesting that forensic expert

    5 be called in to give his opinion on the basis of the

    6 findings of the -- after the superficial examination of

    7 the bodies. Is that also common procedure?

    8 A. Yes, this is also a common procedure, because

    9 the superficial examination of bodies was usually done

    10 by a general practitioner, and this particular case

    11 they also wanted the expert finding of a forensic

    12 expert who would then give his final opinion, his final

    13 judgment about all the injuries, the cause of injuries,

    14 and all other relevant circumstances. So on the basis

    15 of which the forensic expert would base his view, on

    16 the basis of the findings on the superficial

    17 examination of the body.

    18 Q. Thank you. Would the usher please remove the

    19 documents from the ELMO, because we shall not need them

    20 any more.

    21 Mr. Percinlic, you said that the roads were

    22 not safe, that the situation was precarious because of

    23 the armed conflicts and so forth; is that correct?

    24 A. Yes, it is.

    25 Q. Did you personally have such experience? I

  50. 1 mean your personal security.

    2 A. No, not at that time, but I did later in June

    3 and July, '93.

    4 Q. Right. We are not interested in that. Thank

    5 you. Mr. Percinlic, you said that after the

    6 communication was re-established you came to Kaonik for

    7 supervision, I think you said it was sometime in

    8 mid-March '93 or -- well, I think it was the latter

    9 half of March. And you said that it was the first time

    10 that you met Mr. Aleksovski in person?

    11 A. Correct.

    12 Q. Do you remember, perhaps, what clothes he had

    13 on?

    14 A. Well, it is difficult to say what kind of

    15 clothes he wore on that day, but in that area it was

    16 common, and I know from my own experience too, that

    17 people wore, if I may say so, parts of the military

    18 uniform or a complete military uniform. Because those

    19 who had fled from their family house had no time to

    20 take along all that they needed, so that often times

    21 people wore different kinds of clothes, parts of

    22 military uniforms with civilian trousers, something

    23 else. And the prison would -- did the same. And my

    24 colleagues, who had escaped from some nearby

    25 municipality did likewise.

  51. 1 Q. Do you remember what the guards wore in the

    2 prison, in the Kaonik Prison?

    3 A. The guards were by and large in uniform,

    4 almost all of them. They were military police members,

    5 so they were members of military units, and they had

    6 their appropriate uniforms with appropriate insignia.

    7 So they were military persons and, in principle, they

    8 had to wear their military uniform to work.

    9 Q. And do you know if Mr. Aleksovski was a

    10 member of the military police?

    11 A. No, he was not.

    12 Q. Do you know if he was a member of any other

    13 military formation at the time?

    14 A. No.

    15 Q. Mr. Percinlic, can we go back for a moment to

    16 the district military court in Travnik and the court

    17 records. We saw here some documents indicating that

    18 before the competent court criminal proceedings were

    19 being taken against persons charged with the murder of

    20 two Bosniaks, Muslims. Do you -- what happened next?

    21 Do you know whether a court record was made?

    22 A. Yes. Yes, it was filed, and the court record

    23 was opened. That is the common practice. But towards

    24 the end of May, in the second half of June, armed

    25 conflicts broke out in the town of Travnik itself, and

  52. 1 they took place right by the building, next to the

    2 building of the military court, where two military

    3 courts sat. That is a military court of the Army of

    4 BiH and the military court of the HVO. And the only

    5 objective we had in mind was to get the personnel and

    6 the judges out of the court. So a large number of the

    7 records, about 80 percent of all the records, stayed

    8 behind in Travnik and perished, I guess. I know

    9 nothing of the fate of these records.

    10 But the military prosecutor managed to rescue

    11 his documentation from the building, that is, to bring

    12 them to Vitez, and it was only '94 and 1995 that all

    13 the cases were reconstructed, that is renewed. So my

    14 guess would be that the same applies to this particular

    15 case, because all the records were preserved.

    16 Whereas the court records, a very large

    17 portion of them, were destroyed during those military

    18 operations. But I would not know how, whether they

    19 were burned or taken away. I do not know that, because

    20 that day the town fell, if I may say so, under the

    21 control of the BiH Army. And all the members of the

    22 HVO, civilian structures and HVO military part left the

    23 town.

    24 Q. Did you also have to leave Travnik at the

    25 time?

  53. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. And your other colleagues, other judges?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. So, Mr. Percinlic, these documents that I

    5 showed to you are part of the documentation that was

    6 preserved by the prosecutor; is that correct?

    7 A. It is.

    8 Q. Do you, perhaps, know if this document -- if

    9 this record survived or not, or is it that you don't

    10 know?

    11 A. All the prosecutor records survived. No, the

    12 court records have not been preserved. Only one -- I'm

    13 sorry, only some cases, some cases, that is those

    14 referring to petty offences survived, because, you

    15 know, the files were rather small or rather thin and

    16 they could be taken along. But those records, those

    17 files which were bulky, simply could not be carried

    18 away and that was that. And that is how they perished.

    19 Q. Yes. I see. Do you know, perhaps, the fate

    20 of this particular case, or is it that you know nothing

    21 about it?

    22 A. I do not know what its fate was, but I know

    23 that in 1994, in '95, all of these cases were reopened,

    24 that is the cases were reconstructed, but I left that

    25 post after that, so I do not know what happened with

  54. 1 it.

    2 Q. I see. Let us go back to Kaonik,

    3 Mr. Percinlic. Can I have the assistance of the usher,

    4 please, and can the witness be shown the photograph

    5 that's been admitted into evidence under P/50. It is

    6 not a particularly clear photograph, but I think it

    7 will serve our purpose.

    8 Mr. Percinlic, do you recognise the place in

    9 this photograph?

    10 A. Yes, these are the premises of the district

    11 military prison in Kaonik, Busovaca. And according to

    12 these characteristic triangles on the walls, it is

    13 those premises, and the general appearance would seem

    14 to indicate that, and this stove in the middle.

    15 Q. So in the background you see a table. Do you

    16 recognise that table?

    17 A. Yes. This was a dining table

    18 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. We do not need the

    19 photograph any more. You can remove it from the ELMO.

    20 Thank you.

    21 Your Honours, the Defence will now show the

    22 witness a document which represents the leaflet of the

    23 International Red Cross. It is a promotional leaflet

    24 which was published by the International Red Cross. It

    25 was published in Zagreb and there are several

  55. 1 photographs in it. I shall now ask the usher to show

    2 this promotional material to the witness. And my

    3 question to the witness will be if he can recognise one

    4 of those photographs included in the promotional

    5 material of the International Red Cross. I have

    6 already given the Prosecutor's office a copy of this

    7 material, and they have one copy. I suggest that one

    8 be included in the records, one for the witness, but I

    9 also have more photocopies and I shall give them now to

    10 Your Honours.

    11 So the view we have in mind is not to use the

    12 text of this material as evidence. It is only a

    13 photograph. If the witness can identify it we shall

    14 hear it.

    15 Q. Mr. Percinlic, will you go carefully through

    16 these photographs and tell us if you can identify the

    17 photograph, I mean the place where it was taken?

    18 A. Only the photograph on page number 4. Yes.

    19 Q. One photograph. Will you please place the

    20 document on the ELMO, and will you then indicate with

    21 your finger which photograph you have in mind. Yes.

    22 Mr. Percinlic, what do you see in this photograph?

    23 A. Well, these are evidently the premises of the

    24 district military prison in Kaonik.

    25 Q. What makes you think that?

  56. 1 A. Well, the characteristic door with these

    2 triangles, which is not a characteristic of prisons.

    3 Q. It is small photograph, but can you recognise

    4 somebody in this photograph?

    5 A. Only one individual. Only one individual. I

    6 guess that is him.

    7 Q. Could you, perhaps, point to that person?

    8 A. Yes, but one can't see it well on the

    9 machine, on the ELMO.

    10 Q. Could you perhaps use the pencil.

    11 Mr. Percinlic, who is that, do you think?

    12 A. It's Fuad Kaknjo from Vitez, who is now with

    13 me on the regional government in Travnik

    14 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. Will you please remove

    15 this photograph from the ELMO and show the witness

    16 another photograph.

    17 THE REGISTRAR: Document D/23.


    19 Q. Mr. Percinlic, this is a much clearer

    20 photograph. Do you recognise someone here?

    21 A. Only Fuad Kaknjo.

    22 Q. Could you please indicate with your pencil --

    23 yes.

    24 Mr. Percinlic, in view of the place, the

    25 individual, and the clothes he is wearing, was this

  57. 1 photograph taken at the same place as the previous

    2 photograph? How do you know that?

    3 A. Well, the look of this room, the kind of

    4 table, and if you compare these photographs, you see

    5 this is one and the same person, only taken from

    6 different angles.

    7 Q. Mr. Percinlic, where did you meet this person

    8 whom -- who is, as you say, called Fuad Kaknjo?

    9 A. I met Mr. Fuad Kaknjo sometime in mid-1992

    10 when he was the president of the local government in

    11 the Municipality of Vitez. That is when I met him.

    12 Q. Did you have any contacts with him at the

    13 time?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. I believe you also mentioned that you still

    16 had contact with him?

    17 A. Yes. We are working in the same building, in

    18 the same place. He is with the ministry for

    19 reconstruction and development. I think he's deputy

    20 minister or assistant minister. He is an engineer. I

    21 don't know his speciality.

    22 Q. Do you meet him often?

    23 A. Daily, because we work in the same building.

    24 Q. Might you be wrong about him? You are sure

    25 this is not a case of mistaken identity?

  58. 1 A. No, no, no. After this colour photograph I

    2 am positive that it is him.

    3 Q. Mr. Percinlic, would you know, when you

    4 talked to Mr. Kaknjo, do you know -- are you aware that

    5 he was in Kaonik?

    6 A. I heard that he was in Kaonik, that is, I

    7 heard it from other persons, because he is not an

    8 unfamiliar face in the Territorial Municipality of

    9 Vitez and around it. So I know that.

    10 Q. But did he speak to you about it personally?

    11 A. No.

    12 Q. Do you know if -- do you know when it was

    13 that he was in Kaonik?

    14 A. Well, this is difficult to say, but it must

    15 have been in the early -- in late April or early May,

    16 during those events, and I heard from some close

    17 friends of his that it was at that time the end of

    18 April '93. But I wouldn't know when he went there, how

    19 long he spent there, when he came out.

    20 Q. Mr. Percinlic, at that time did you have an

    21 opportunity to visit Kaonik?

    22 A. No.

    23 Q. Why not?

    24 A. Because military operations were underway in

    25 the Municipality of Vitez, and the Municipality of

  59. 1 Vitez is midway between the Municipality of Travnik and

    2 Busovaca, so that during that time period the road was

    3 closed, naturally, by the military police, and for

    4 safety reasons they did not allow one to go across the

    5 territory of the Municipality of Vitez. And that was

    6 the only road taking one to the Kaonik Prison.

    7 Q. Mr. Percinlic, when you look at this

    8 photograph you see several persons on it. Will you

    9 please pay attention to the person in the middle, in

    10 the second -- on the right-hand side of the

    11 photograph. That person's finger is -- thumb is

    12 bandaged. You see that this person has around his neck

    13 a piece of jewellery or something? What could it be?

    14 A. Well, it could be a chain. What else?

    15 Q. Mr. Percinlic, do you see, if you look at

    16 Mr. Kaknjo in the left-hand upper corner of this

    17 photograph, if he has any bruises, any injuries on his

    18 face?

    19 A. Well, one doesn't see them on this

    20 photograph.

    21 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. Will you please remove

    22 this photograph from the ELMO, because we shall not

    23 need it any more.

    24 And, Your Honours, I should like these two

    25 documents to be admitted into evidence, only the

  60. 1 photographs, not the text. Only photographs.

    2 MR. NIEMANN: No objection.

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, Mr. Mikulicic.

    4 Can the registrar please give us the number for this

    5 particular document.

    6 THE REGISTRAR: The last document shall give

    7 the reference D/24. And as for documents D/22A and B,

    8 I do not believe that it was requested that these be

    9 admitted.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Are you requesting that it

    11 be admitted?

    12 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Very well. I see there is

    14 no objection. Therefore, they are admitted.


    16 Q. Mr. Percinlic, when you next went to -- had

    17 an opportunity to go to Kaonik, when was that?

    18 A. Well, it was only in the month of July.

    19 Q. Thank you. I will not pursue that, because

    20 it's not during the relevant times.

    21 Mr. Percinlic, this would therefore conclude

    22 my examination, and the Defence has no more questions

    23 for you.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Mr. Mikulicic.

    25 Mr. Niemann.

  61. 1 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I wish to make an

    2 application for an adjournment until tomorrow, before I

    3 conduct my cross-examination of this witness. There

    4 are several matters in the transcript that I really

    5 need to check very carefully before I conduct my

    6 cross-examination, and I would be most grateful if the

    7 Court could indulge me with that time in order to do

    8 that.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, do you have

    10 any comments, an objection to what has been suggested?

    11 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence has

    12 nothing against this objection by the Prosecutor. We

    13 believe that the Prosecutor is entitled to have enough

    14 time for preparation. We would have preferred to

    15 finish today, but we do not have any objections to

    16 continue tomorrow.

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Therefore, we shall grant

    18 this adjournment so that the Prosecution may examine

    19 all of these documents. I wonder if we can begin

    20 tomorrow? I believe then we're going to end this

    21 session at the moment where we would have begun with

    22 cross-examination, is that not right, Mr. Niemann and

    23 Mr. Mikulcic? Very well, in that case, we can begin at

    24 9.30. Is that all right with you, Mr. Mikulcic? We

    25 shall begin at 9.30, is that all right with the

  62. 1 interpreters? They also are in agreement with this,

    2 therefore we shall resume with this session tomorrow

    3 morning at 9.30. See you tomorrow.

    4 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

    5 11.15 a.m., to the reconvened on

    6 Friday, the 19th day of June , 1998,

    7 at 9.30 a.m.