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
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
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.
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.
13 WITNESS: KATA VIDOVIC.
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
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
23 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic
25 Q. Good morning, Ms. Vidovic.
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
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
25 A. I completed secondary medical school in
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?
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
22 Q. So what therapy was usually prescribed by the
24 A. Sometimes it was oral therapy or parenteral
25 therapy, that is either tablets or injections,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
25 A. No, as I said, this is something that is not
1 allowed by our ethics and we treat all patients the
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
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
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
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, I suppose
20 you don't have any cross-examination, or rather,
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.
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 --
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Please be seated. Are you
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.
7 WITNESS: ZELKO PERCINLIC
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
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
23 Q. And your ethnicity?
24 A. I am a Croat.
25 Q. Are you a believer, a religious person?
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
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In the regional government?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I see. Since when were you occupying this
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,
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.
1 Q. Does that mean that the appeals against the
2 rulings of military courts were ruled by civilian
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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?
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
25 A. Well, there were detainees. Ninety-nine
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
24 Q. Mr. Percinlic, will you tell us, do you know
25 Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski?
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
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
24 A. As the presiding judge of the district
25 military court, and he was the warden, the commander of
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
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
1 superior to him? Did you ever issue some orders to
2 Mr. Aleksovski regarding the treatment of the
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
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,
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
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?
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
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
25 Q. So this is the document on the basis of which
1 transfer was conducted, transfer of the detainee, from
2 the Kaonik facility to the prison in Zenica; is that
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
20 Q. Thank you. I would tender these documents
21 into evidence.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, are you in
24 MR. MIKULICIC:
25 Q. Mr. Percinlic, you've told us that you were
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
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
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
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
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
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.
23 MR. MIKULICIC:
24 Q. Mr. Percinlic, you have a document in front
25 of you which has been marked Document 22/A, could you
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.
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
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
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
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
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
24 A. It is.
25 Q. Then the description of the crime; is that
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
24 Q. Did you also have to leave Travnik at the
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
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
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
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?
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.
18 MR. MIKULICIC:
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 --
24 Mr. Percinlic, in view of the place, the
25 individual, and the clothes he is wearing, was this
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
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?
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
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
19 A. Well, one doesn't see them on this
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
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
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.
15 MR. MIKULICIC:
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.
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
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
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.